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Body Condition Score (BCS) is a useful tool for assessing the energy status of an animal. BCS should be assessed at calving, mid-lactation and mid-late gestation.
A replacement heifer represents the most costly improvement in a herd's genetics. Since reproductive traits are lowly heritable, cattle producers must manage within the environment.
It is important to properly develop heifers before the breeding season and to continue managing them during and after the calving season.
The perfect beef cow has the right mix of traits. Her ability to prosper in her environment and deliver a health calf every year are most important.
Intentional beef producers will develop a winter feeding strategy and calving season that reduces the cost of winter feed.
When using the intuitive approach to stocking rate management, monitor these factors to determine when a change is needed.