Calving and rebreeding are intrinsically linked and tied to the herd success. During this period, it is crucial for herd performance and profitability.
Here are 4 tips for beef cattle calving and rebreeding:
1) Maintaining BCS before beef cattle calving season
Cow body condition score (BCS) at calving affects how quickly a cow returns to heat and helps prepare her for next calving season.
Optimal BCS around 6 has shown to have rebreed with conception rates of 88% or higher.
Cows bred early in the breeding season will have calves born early in calving season.
Calf age will have the biggest impact on weaning weight.
Calves born in the first 21 days of the season are more likely to be heavier at weaning.
The cow's body condition score also impacts calf performance.
Good BCS score will help support colostrum quality, cow's stamina during calving and calf vigor.
The minimum BCS for first calf heifers is 6.
Cattle supplementation can help maintain consistent body condition score.
2) Evaluate your cattle mineral program
Mineral nutrition is one of the most commonly overlooked items during beef cattle calving and rebreeding.
Make sure sufficient mineral is provided for the cattle year round rather than just at calving or before breeding.
Minerals are especially important 60 - 90 days before calving since they affect colostrum quality, calf trace mineral status and calf health.
Cattle mineral also plays a role in tissue repair, helping the cow's reproductive tract repair from calving and prepare for breeding.
If the tract is not fully repaired, there may be difficulties for the cows being rebred.
Cows must rebred within 85 days of calving to have one calf per year.
Quality year round supplementation program will ensure the cows have sufficient nutrition to thrive.
A balanced cattle mineral is the best choice leading up to calving season and through breeding.
3) Discuss cattle health with your vet
If you do not have a proper herd health program, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian to develop a program.
Once the program has been developed, it can be useful to re-evaluate and ensure the protocol still make sense.
Ensure that cow and calf vaccinations are part of your calving and breeding plan for your herd.
For operations with many employees, it is important that everyone is familiar with the cattle vaccination program before beef cattle calving begins.
Beef cattle calving and rebreeding are two of the most important period that will affect your farm's profitability.
When things go wrong or when challenges arises, troubleshoot and try to find out the cause and solution rather than making knee-jerk decision.
Discuss with your nutritionist, veterinarian, employees and other key personnel to help solve the issue.