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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Beef Management Tips

Livestock Update, April 2005

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

April Beef Management Calendar

Spring Calving Herds

Fall Calving Herds

Additional energy will help pregnancy rates in thin cows
Many cows have come through the winter in less than optimum body condition. While calving cows in less than BCS 5 is not ideal, there are some thin cows around. In addition, the poor hay quality will cause cows to lose weight after calving unless they are supplemented.

In multiple research studies, thin cows that gained weight from calving through breeding have higher pregnancy rates than thin cows that fail to gain weight. Thin cows may need 7 to 12 lbs of energy supplement. Corn gluten feed, distillers grains, soy hulls, rolled barley or whole shelled corn are good choices for supplements. Although feed prices are reasonable this year and open cows are costly so supplement thin cows and first calf heifers.

For help with designing a supplementation program, contact you local Animal Science Extension Agent.

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