Presentation on theme: "Feeding and Management of the Cow-Calf Herd"— Presentation transcript:
1Feeding and Management of the Cow-Calf Herd Unit 15
2Kinds of FeedCow-calf feeding programs are based on the use of roughagesTypical roughages used arePastureHaySilageStrawCorncobsOther crop residuesRoughages provide the cheapest source of energy for the cow and calf.
3Forages Graze as much as possible. If weather does not permit year round grazing then forage should be harvested and stored for later use.Downfall: grazing only recovers 15-30% of what is produced.
4Pasture & Hay Proper management increases the yield. Soil should be tested and fertilizedUse rotational grazing to increase carrying capacity.
5Crop Residues Helps reduce feed costs In Northern areas 2 acres of cornstalks will carry a pregnant cow daysHeavy snows will reduce the carrying capacity of cornstalk fields.
7Feeding Dry Pregnant Cows Feed enough to keep them in good flesh from fall to spring calvingCows of normal weight should not loose less than 10% of their body weightThin cows should be fed enough to gain some weight during winter
8Overfeeding Should be avoided. Results in Higher cost Trouble calving Less milk flowHigher calf losses
9Feeding Young Cows and Heifers Require more feed because they are still growingThe amount of feed received is more important than the kind of feed.
10Energy Needs Vary according to SizeConditionAgeWeatherDuring cold weather increase feed or energy intake by 1% for each degree of cold stress.
11Last 30-45 Days of Pregnancy Generally need a 10-15% increase in protienEspecially so if hay is being fedCan be achieved with an extra 2 pound/hd of high quality hay or additional protien supplements
12Minerals Should be fed free choice Mineral mixes should include CalciumPhosphorusSaltAny trace minerals that are known to be deficientIf grass tetany is a problem then magnesium oxide should be included in the mixA good mixture to use is one part trace mineral salt and one part dicalcium phosphate
13ProtienBlocks, lick tubs and cubes are the most convenient ways to feedCare should be taken to prevent overeatingOvereating can be partially controlled by feeding plenty of roughage and supplying plenty of fresh water
15Vitamin A Only needed when cattle are fed poor quality roughage If the cow has been on good summer pasture enough Vitamin A will be stored in the body to get the animal through several months
16Lactation Rations Depends on how much the milk cow produces Heavier milk producers have higher requirements than average or low milk producersProtein requirements for lactation are % greater than for dry cowsEnergy 36-38%Calcium and phosphorous %Vitamin A 18-88%High quality pasture can usually meet lactation needs
17Lactation Rations Salt and minerals should be provided free choice If the roughage is limited or poor quality some grain should be fed
18Lactation Rations for 1st Calf Heifers Require more feedHeifers are still growing and developingThey need to regain weight lost from calving & produce milk for their calfHeifers also need to be in good condition for rebreeding.
20Creep Feeding Calves A way of providing calves with extra feed May be grain, commercial creep feed mix, or roughageFed in a feeder that cows can not get into
21Advantages of Creep Feeding Produces heavier calves at weaning (30-70 lbs)Produces higher grade and more finish at weaningCalves go on feedlot rations better at weaningCreates less feedlot stressAllows cows and calves to stay on poorer quality pasture for a longer time
22Good Reasons to Creep Feed Calves are to be sold at weaningCalves are to be fed out on high-energy rationsCows are milking poorlyCalves are from 1st calf heifersCalves were born late in the seasonCalves have above average inherited growth potentialCalves were born in the fallCalves are to be weaned early (45-90 days)Calf-feed price ratio is favorablePastures become dry in late summerCows and calves are kept in confinement
23Disadvantages of Creep Feeding Calves are well fed after weaning,the weight advantage from creep feeding is lostWhen production testing, it is harder to detect differences in inherited gaining abilityReplacement heifers become to fatNon-creep-fed calves usually make faster and more economical gains after weaning compared to calves that were creep fed before weaning
24Reasons Not To Feed Creep Calves are to be fed through the winter on roughageCows are above average milk producersThe calf-feed ratio is poorCalves are on good pastureHeifers are to be kept for replacementsThe milk production of the dam is to be measured
26Growing Replacement Heifers British breeds should gain pound/day from weaning to breedingLarger breeds should gain pound/dayHeifers should reach puberty at monthsGenerally heifers reach puberty when they have attained 65% of their mature weightEnglish breeds lbsLarger breeds lbsHeifers need to be bred according to weight and not age!
27Feed For Growing Replacement Heifers Must be palatableIn areas of cold weather nutrient needs increase 1% for each degree of temperature below freezingFeed must be increased as heifers growVitamins and minerals should be fed free choice
29Growing Young Bulls Wean at 6-8 months of age Feed high energy rations for about 5 monthsAvoid fatteningAllow full feed until spring then put on pasture to complete growth.Bulls will continue to grow slowly until about 4 years of age
30Feeds Hay Grain Minerals free choice Amount depends on type and qualityMinerals free choiceFeed Vitamin A if ration is mostly corn silage or limited hayMay be self fed or hand fedWhen self feeding use plenty of roughage to keep bulls from getting to fat or going off their feed.
31Rate of Growth & NeedsYearling bulls should be fed to gain lbs/day2-4 yr old bulls need more energy and protein in the winter than cows and should be fed accordinglyMature bulls in good condition may be fed the same as the cow herd
32After the Breeding Season Loose weightMust be fed to regain that weightGive additional feed 6-8 weeks before the start of the next breeding seasonBulls that are too fat or too thin have poor fertilityThey should be in medium flesh and have plenty of exercise
33After the Breeding Season Keep bulls separate from cowsIf no place to keep bulls it is safe to run them with steers
34Before the Breeding Season If necessary trim hoofs several weeks before breeding season beginsTest semen for fertility and disease
36Goal 100% calf crop Observe the herd closely Check for injured or diseased cows or bullsWatch to ensure bulls are servicing cows
37Number of Bulls to Run Young bulls can easily service 20-25 cows Mature bullsEstrus-synchronized cows-25Non synchronized cowsRange conditions4 bulls per 100 cowsI have 300 cows. How many bulls do I need?If a high number of cows remain inbred then the bull should be replaced.
38BreedingNo more than 60 days to maintain a short calving season (40-60 days)Begin breeding days after half the calves are bornThis allows for a 2nd and even third heat cycle for cows that do not settle the first time.Breed yearling heifers 20 days before older cows
39Conception RatesHigher for cows that are gaining weight before and during the breeding seasonCows that are too fat or too thin are poor breedersPregnancy check days after breedingSell any open cowsConception Rates can be lowered byHot weatherInjuries
40Artificial Insemination (AI) Placing the sperm in the female reproductive tract by other than natural meansBreeder uses an inseminating tube to deposit sperm into the cervix and uterus of the cow
41Disadvantages of AIing Need a trained inseminatorRequires more time and supervision of the herdSterile equipmentSpecial handling facilities
43Size Most important when breeding yearling heifers Should weigh poundsWeight should be from growth, not fattening
44Age Goal is to breed the heifer so she calves at 2 years of age When achieved the result is 1 more calf produced during a cow’s lifetime
452 year old Calving Lowers production cost Keeps a higher percent of cows in the herd in productionFewer replacement heifers are needed each year to maintain a stable herd size
46Conception Rates for Heifers Lower for yearling heifers than older cowsLonger calving seasonPossibly need more help in calving
47Breeding Heifers Breed to calve 20-30 days before older cows Require more feed and should be kept separate from older cowsBreed for daysPregnancy check days laterSell any heifers that are not pregnant
49After the Calf is Born Make sure it breathes May be necessary to clean the mucus from the mouth and noseCalf should nurse shortly after birthThe cows first milk, called colostrums, is very important as it contains nutrients, such as Vitamins A & E, and antibodies the calf needsCow should expel the afterbirth within hours after giving birthKeep cows with calves separate from cows that haven’t calvedIdentify the calf with an ear tag or tattooRecord the calf’s birth weight, calving problems and birth date for performance records
51Castration Can be done at birth Several methods Knife Burdizzo (fig. 15-6)Elastor bands
52Knife Castration Most widely used Should only be done during a time of year when flies are not a problemCalves should not be more than 3-4 months oldResults in an open woundThis increase the danger of infection and bleedingWound should be treated with iodineCalves should be check several days after castration to check for swelling, continued bleeding and stiffness
53Burdizzo Castration Bloodless Crushes the cords of the testicles However if the pincers are not applied correctly the cord may not be crushed completely resulting in a staggy steer later onNo open woundGood choice in areas where screw worms are a problem
54Elastrator Band Castration Special instrument that places a tight rubber band around the scrotum above the testiclesCuts of the blood supply to the testicleThis causes the testicle to waste away due to lack of bloodNo open wound
55Dehorning Several reason for dehorning Horned calves bring lessDehorned calves require less space at the feed bunk and on trucksLess risk of injury with dehorned calvesCalves should be dehorned at a young ageIf possible do not dehorn during fly season
56Methods of Dehorning Chemical Spoons Gouges Tubes Hot irons LiquidsCaustic sticksPasteSpoonsGougesTubesHot ironsBarnes-TypeClippersSaws
72Selling feeder calves Calves are born in the spring Weigh about poundsHeifer calves will weigh about 5% less than steersCalves are sold in the fall as feeder calves
73Selling Yearling Feeders Calves weigh poundsUse mostly roughage as feedIf calves are born in fall they are weaned in spring and fed on pasture for the summer then sold as yearling feeders in the fall
74Growing and Finishing Grow calve on roughage Finish for 4-6 months in the feedlotCorn silage or grain and roughage are used for the wintering rationWhen the animals are on pasture no or little grain is fedAnimals then go to the feedlot and grain feeding begins.
75PreconditioningThe process of preparing calves for the stress of being moved to the feedlotMost procedures involved in preconditioning are accepted as good management practicesAccomplished before the calves leave the farm or ranch
76PracticesCastration, dehorning, identification by tattooing or brandingMaintaining health recordsVaccinationsWeaning 4-6 weeks before saleTraining to eat solid feed from a bunk and to drink water from a water tankWorming and treatment for lice, grubs and mange (if necessary)
77Preconditioning adds costs to production but is well worth it!
78BackgroundingGrowing and feeding calves from weaning until they are ready to enter the feedlotDone primarily with roughage rationCalves are fed daysExpected daily gains of poundsCalves must be kept from getting too fat, as overly fat calves bring less when going to the feedlot for finishing.
79Summary Feeding programs are based on roughages Summer pasture and fall/winter silage and hay is commonThe types of pasture, silage and hay is going to be dependant on where you are in the U.S.Dry, pregnant cows and bulls are fed to prevent them from becoming too fat or too thinYounger cows and heifers and young bulls that will be kept for breeding require more feedSo do cows nursing calvesAll should be fed salt and minerals free choiceCreep feeding may or may not be profitable
80Summary Performance records should be used to replace herd cows Replacement heifers should be bred based on weight not ageUse fertility testing at the beginning of the breeding season to achieve a 100% calf crop4 bulls to 100 cowsPreconditioning of calves should occur when they are youngBackgrounding calves is growing calves on roughages from weaning until they are ready for the feedlot