Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
Recent Stories by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist
It is not too soon to begin to prepare for the spring calving season. Locating, obtaining, and storing several doses of colostrum or colostrum replacer will come in handy before the first heifers start to go into labor.
Preparing ahead for next spring’s calving season can help increase the chances of success and there are several key steps that would be good to conduct in November or December.
Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs. Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations.
Body condition changes from the time the cow calves until she begins the breeding season and can play a significant role in the rebreeding success story.
Meeting the supplemental protein needs for the cows and replacement heifers consuming that forage must be done properly and economically.
Cull cows represent about 20% of the gross income in commercial cow calf operations. Understanding the major factors impacting cull cow prices is important to your bottom line.
Body condition is categorized by a scoring system based on “1” being very emaciated and “9” is extremely obese. Most commercial range cows will be in the middle three scores of 4, 5, and 6.
Fall-calving herds will be breeding replacement heifers in late November. Now is the time to make certain that those heifers are ready for the upcoming breeding season.
Proper cow culling will reduce the chance that a cow carcass is condemned at the packing plant and becomes a money drain for the entire beef industry.
Producers cannot afford to overlook the importance of how they store vaccine and handle it prior to injection.
Cows and heifers that gestate in hot weather will often calve a few days earlier than expected.
Fall-born replacement heifers are at a critical nutrition point—they need to gain about 1.5 lb. per day from weaning until breeding. But warm-season pastures are starting to decline. Adding supplemental protein is key.
Many Oklahoma ranchers choose to breed the replacement heifers about a month ahead of the mature cows in the herd.
Weaning during very hot summer weather is stressful enough to the calves. Therefore any management strategy that can reduce stress to the calves should be utilized.
All hay contains some mold, but when mold becomes noticeable the decisions become important.