March 28, 2019
To have a successful calving season, it is important to have a good, balanced nutrition. Here are top 3 tips for calving season:
1) Body condition score (BCS)
Calving season success is correlated to body condition score (BCS).
Cows having BCS of 6 heading into calving season are in great shape and healthy.
This will lead to a healthier calf too.
BCS can help to predict which cows may have calving problem.
BCS lower than 6 means that cow is lacking nutrient reserves to support the calf's immune system or colostrum production.
A BCS higher than 6 could indicate cow has ahigher chance of dystoia.
Work with your nutritionist to have a supplement plan to maintain a BCS 6 through calving.
2) Cattle mineral
A solid cattle nutrition program starts with mineral as the foundation.
Cows require trace minerals that are not always available naturally in a forage only diet.
These minerals will have calf develop without sacrificing cow's health.
Once the calf is born, cow will continue to need support so that her calf can have proper nutrition and hit weaning weight as fast as possible.
Investing in proper cattle mineral supplement so that it helps to maintain cow's body condition score throughout the year and set her up for long term success.
3) Energy level makes all the difference
Even the best cattle nutrition plan may not work out at times.
There is still ways to support cows with BCS lower than 6 in the final month before calving.
Provide more energy to the cow and help her get to peak milk and provide sufficient immunity support the calf needs.
More energy may not prevent or fix the problems that can be avoided with a well-balanced cattle nutrition program, but it will help dodge some of the consequences.
When a cow is at a lower BCS, her colostrum may not have sufficient nutrient for her calf needs for a strong start.
Make sure there are colostrum replacer available for the calves if it is needed.