Consider Body Condition Score Before Winter

Consider Body Condition Score Before Winter

Yesterday Idaho rancher Kim Brackett talked about checking their herd's body conditions as their cattle are brought home for the winter. Today we'll continue on the topic.

Body condition score is an important consideration as you think about feeding the cow herd through the winter months. That's according to Rick Rasby of the University of Nebraska - who says body condition affects calf health at time of calving and how well cows will re-breed.

Rasby: "Body conditions scores are actually a better measure to your nutrition program as compared to body weight. There is an optimal body conditions that you would like to have cows at that is related to reproduction and as to how much stress that calf maybe able to handle a lot of stress during calving. Feeding them beyond a body condition score of really five for most cases is not going to get an increase in performance. That changes when you think about young females -- especially first calf heifers -- that probably having them in a body condition score of six would be pretty important because they are still trying to grow. So the idea is to be proactive and get them into the ideal body condition prior to calving."

Understanding the current condition of your cow herd is the first step. With that knowledge - producers can better plan for what type of nutrition their cattle will need in the months ahead.

Rasby: "Pay particular attention to young cows, especially with young cows with calves on them. The idea would be that you might maybe you wean those calves instead of at 205 days you wean them at 180 days to get them in ample body condition ahead of calving season."

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