As producers prepare for calving season, it’s important to review a list of key management principles. While even the best planned strategies can hit road bumps, thinking ahead and being prepared will help guarantee a successful calving season.
Calving season — a demanding time for producers — is an eventful period that may cause stress and several health concerns for the herd. For optimal herd health this spring, it’s essential for producers to follow a few steps — proper nutrition and vaccination; proactive newborn calf health; and pasture turnout health protocols.
Looking over your replacement heifers each spring makes you feel proud of the job you did selecting and growing them since weaning. You’ve got a lot of money tied up in your calves, so picking the right bull is critical. But what about risk management? Not the kind of risk management that requires a banker or a commodity broker, but the kind that reduces risk from reproductive disease losses.
There are a multitude of opportunities for branding our individual farms and ranches. Michael Turley, chief executive officer for Osborn Barr, the marketing communications firm for Merck Animal Health’s cattle team, wanted to raise awareness of those opportunities when he spoke to cattle feeders at the Cattle Feeders Business Summit last year.
Backgrounding — a process that begins after weaning and ends at the placement of thriving cattle in a feedyard — adds pounds to calves by paying special attention to their health and nutrition in the hopes of higher returns. Some cow/calf producers may decide to incorporate a backgrounding program within their operation. For those who do, Eric Moore, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health, reminds these producers that backgrounding brings another set of issues to manage.