Nutrition in Spring Calving Season

Spring calving season is upon us for cow/calf operators. This is a crucial time for the nutrition of your cow herd and having a nutrition program in place can save you time and money during this busy season. We’ve put together a few basics to keep in mind during this critical time, as well as the products that can help you be successful.

First, let’s answer the big question. Why is nutrition so important during calving season? During calving and breeding season, cows are going through critical body composition changes due to calf development, lactation, and preparing to return to estrus. Often, they do all of this while feeding on harvested forages of varying quality. This is why mineral nutrition is important as the added energy provided by supplements given before and during calving can help strengthen both newborns and mother cows.

  • Don’t overlook the role vitamins and minerals play in nutrition.
    • Producers can sometimes underestimate the importance of minerals and vitamins in the nutrition of their cow herd because of the small proportion of daily intake they account for in cow diets. Often, we see that producers see the cost of supplementation, as well as misunderstanding of the importance of good mineral nutrition as barriers to integrating them into a comprehensive nutrition plan.
  • A bad forage season doesn’t need to affect your herd’s nutrition.
    • Whether from drought, fire or flood, a bad forage season can have a major impact on the health of your herd. Building high quality minerals and vitamin supplements into your nutrition program can help offset lower quality forage yields, ensuring that your cow herd isn’t losing out on key nutrients before or during calving.
  • Plan ahead and play the long game.
    • Taking the time to build a supplement program to fit your operation’s specific and unique needs can help save you time an
      d money, including helping you achieve higher gain for lower overall feed costs. Raising your cow herd on good quality forage and appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements several months prior to calving and throughout calving season will ensure your cattle have fewer problems at calving and will return more during weaning and beyond. Having a year-round and seasonally specific plan in place gives your plan ample time to be truly preventative, giving you the most bang for your buck.

We have built several products to help cow/calf operators ensure their cow herd is getting the best nutrition during calving season. Our NP 2 S and Plus 2 S are mineral-vitamin mixes designed to aid in balancing a cow’s diet when grazing pastures are deficient in meeting cattle requirements for optimum performance. Plus 2 S takes this a step further by containing elevated levels of the major minerals, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as elevated levels of trace minerals including copper, manganese, zinc, iodine and vitamin E, for situations where additional fortification is required.

Have questions about how you can improve the nutrition of your cow/calf herd or about Nutrition Plus products? Click to here reach out to us!

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