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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
Cows on vacation

Do you have cows that are on vacation?

A cow's job is to produce a calf. A profitable cattle operation must produce a merchandisable product. In the cattle business, that means we need calves to sell.

The past two years have made getting cows bred challenging. Poor forage quality, stagnant water sources, and extreme heat during the breeding season put stress on cows and bulls. Additionally, the drought forced producers to salvage what feeds they could for the winter. If cautions are not taken, nitrate levels and mycotoxin issues could potentially cause loss of pregnancy in cows. Be smart and get these feeds tested.

Some producers have seen cows cycling back as the weather cooled off. Evidence that some failed breeding has occured and some cows are coming up open. So, do you have cows on vacation? Preg-checking cows will let you know who is working and who is on vacation.

Preg-checking cows as soon as possible this year has certainly paid. The opportunity to eliminate those cows before the drought was vital to saving feed resources. However, if you have yet to preg-check there is still good reason to do so.

Feeding a cow average quality hay ($140/ton) and supplementing CGF ($250/ton) lends a cost of roughly $3.00/hd/d just in feed. If you feed that cow from November through March and find out she has no calf, you have sunk over $450 into that cow, just in feed. Make sure you have your cows preg-checked!

Chances are you have worked more for your cows this year than any in the past. It is time to make sure they are working for you. Preg-check your cows!

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