The last trimester of pregnancy is a critical time in the yearly cycle of the cow. The way she is fed and managed at this time will have a direct effect on her re-breeding schedule and the health of her calf. Even though the drought has affected feed prices dramatically, it is important to provide proper nutrition to beef cows during pregnancy.
A cows basic needs are:
Cows should be a body condition score of 5 to 6 at calving which allows for better milk production and increases the likelihood of being bred back earlier.
In the last three months, the calf will put on 70 percent of its weight and the mother cow will not only need to prepare for the birth but for lactating and re-breeding. The cow is also starting to produce colostrum, which can deplete primary resources used toward cow maintenance and fetal growth.
Provide mineral mixture either mixed into the feed or fed free choice. Trace mineral salt/phosphorus mixture should be provided at all times. Special minerals such as magnesium, to prevent winter tetany and selenium should be added as needed especially if cereals, straw or weathered hay is a major part of the diet.
Taking hay samples is one step that can ensure the nutrient requirements of your animals are being met. By having a general idea of the quality of your forage, it will enable you to provide the lowest cost ration possible to meet your performance expectations. Stop into the office and we can send off your hay samples!
• Feed a balanced diet with adequate energy
• Manage body condition scores Goal: 5-6 BCS
• Realize underfeeding during gestation can have long term impacts on calf performance
• Feed a good quality mineral either free choice or thru the feed truck
• Test your feed
Give us a call or stop in to learn about all the ways we can help you in feeding and supplementing your cows this winter season!
Office 406-488-1953 or Ben 406-480-2953