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Put Weight on Thin Cows before Winter

For those of us here in the south, those who didn’t have most of our fields in prevent-plant, the question is why would we want to accomplish this on cornstalks?

Here's the reason why: This is the best time frame to add those pounds because we know, just like the old saw says, winter is coming. After the brutal winter we had last year, it should have taught us we cannot wait until January to start to put weight on cows. There are two reasons: The first is that cold winter weather, the cow has difficulty eating enough to maintain her weight and stay warm, let alone add pounds. The second has to do with the concept of fetal programming.

Fetal programming is where the nutrition and environment the calf receives inside the cow corresponds to their performance later in life. An example of this comes from a research article published by Dr. Min Du in the December 2014 Journal of Animal Science. It reported that a restriction of nutrition to cows during early to mid-gestation led to decreased numbers of adipocytes (fat cells) in the offspring within their muscles. This meant there were less adipocytes to create marbling when the calves were finished, thereby making them grade lower on the rail. Therefore, cows that stay thin through the fall on stalks, which is typically mid-gestation for most beef producers, will create calves that will not finish to their genetic potential.

If you are looking for some extra feed to prepare for the cold weather, give the office a call today.