The profitability of your beef operation is dependent on replacing and expanding your herd with healthy new calves. Genetics, environment and nutrition play a huge roll in the success of your breeding program. To ensure optimal health throughout the breeding cycle you should understand the nutrition delivered to your cow and her changing needs as she transitions from breeding through to calving.
Not all on-farm forage and feedstuffs is created equal. The mineral content of forages is influenced by the soil it is grown in and the nutritional value can decrease as it ages or when it is cut and stored. It is a good strategy to have the nutritional value of your feedstuffs verified so that any deficiencies are understood and the proper mineral supplementation program can be put in place.
Mineral deficiencies can contribute to poor herd health and less than ideal performance. There are a variety of mineral programs available for each stage in your herds production cycle. Finding the right program may be the key to your herds profitable performance
Supplementing with minerals at this time can prepare your cow for calving, lactation, recovery after calving and encourage a better start for her calf. It is essential to ensure calcium and phosphorus levels are in reserve and that you continue to supplement her forage diet with trace minerals and vitamins.
Flushing & Breeding
To assist in recovery, and prepare her for her next breeding cycle, a 2:1 mineral supplement should be offered. By doing so, you will help meet the increased need for calcium and phosphorus -the chelated minerals and organic selenium in the NLM Re-Charge 2:1 will improve mineral absorption, optimizing the impact of the mineral program for the cow.
During early gestation, the goal is to build up the cows body reserves of minerals. Supplementing with a 2:1 mineral allows her to build body reserves of calcium and phosphorus. By ensuring that she is adequately supplemented to meet her mineral requirements during pregnancy will prepare her and her fetus for a healthier future.
Maintaining the cows body reserves during mid-gestation with a 2:1 mineral will assist with optimizing her health and the developing calf’s. Adequate iodine supplementation is important during this time as deficiencies can lead to small or weak calves, and continue to supplement for calcium and phosphorus reserves, she will need the reserves during late gestation and calving.
Do not over supplement with calcium during this phase, the cow can become dependent on the calcium supplement and not utilize her own reserves, potentially leading to milk fever. Feeding a1:1 calcium: phosphorus ratio during this phase will help her utilize her own reserves of calcium and reduce the risk of a shortage after calving. Phosphorus requirements during late-gestation are elevated slightly to support calf growth.
Magnesium plays a vital role in calcium regulation and so it is important that this mineral is properly represented in your cows diet. Micro-minerals such as selenium is needed in small quantities for both cow and calf (Saskatchewan, soils tend to be deficient in selenium). Selenium deficiency in your beef cow and calf can contribute to the risk of white muscle disease and still births of calfs, retained placenta during calving and potential future reproduction issues of your cow.