February 28, 2018
Management Methods Cows during the Calving Season
Managing cows to rebreed as scheduled is an important practice during the calving season. Below are a few good management practices to remember from the Cow-Calf Management Guide Section CL115.
• The above-average milking cow will need about 30 pounds of hay per day.
• Ration balancing using the animal’s nutrient requirements and the nutrient composition of the feed resource should be used to determine appropriate ration. The Chouteau County Extension office has an excellent ration balancing program to assist producers with feed management.
• The mineral needs of a cow increase rapidly after she calves. Provide a salt and phosphorus mixture with trace minerals added.
• Extra nutrients are required 90 days post-calving to insure maximum milk production and rebreeding efficiency.
• Traction on the calf in the early stages should be exerted upward in the direction of the tail head and not downward. Once the calf is in the pelvic cavity, traction should be straight backward and then downward. As a result, the calf passes through the birth canal in the form of an arch.
• As cows calve they should be separated from cows that have not calved so both can be fed to their requirements.
• Many calving difficulties could be eliminated by proper development of replacement heifers or breeding first-calf heifers to bulls that will sire calves with below-average birth weights.
• Even though calf weight is the single most important cause of calving difficulty, size of the pelvic opening of the cow is also related to calving difficulty.
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