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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Beef Management Tips

Livestock Update, January 2006

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

January Beef Management Calendar

Spring Calving Herds

Fall Calving Herds

The cold December Virginia and the MidAtlantic states increased the energy needs by cows. Cowherds in many locations in the area are entering the winter in worse nutritional shape than normal. Variability in fall precipitation and low quality 1st cutting hay resulted in thinner cows heading into December. In Blacksburg, December has averaged almost 10 degrees colder than normal, and much of the state has been the same. Cows are using 5 to 10% more energy than normal during the past month. Producers should check body condition scores and make changes to the winter nutrition program if needed.

In most cases, cows with full access to good quality hay will eat more hay per day to compensate for the cold weather. However, cows eating poor quality hay or hay that is limit fed by rolling it out may not get enough nutrition. In most cases, three to four lbs of corn gluten feed, soyhulls, or dry brewer's grains will be a sufficient supplement to hay to compensate for the cold weather. Access to stockpiled fescue (if it is not iced over) will also supplement enough nutrition.

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