Fall calving offers several advantages that the cow-calf producers can utilize in their management programs. A key advantage is that cows will spend their last days of gestation grazing more lush summer pastures and will typically calve at a higher body condition – something to keep in mind when developing a feeding program for those lactating mama cows.
Other advantages include more manageable feed costs associated with resources available in the fall like cool-season grasses and crop residues/aftermath that is available post-harvest. In addition, grazing situations like cover crops and winter wheat might be an option, depending on the location you’re operating.
Of course, Mother Nature can be more tolerable for fall-calving herds. Calves won’t suffer from frozen ears, tails or hypothermia. Weather patterns are typically more predictable in the fall, and the cooler temperatures are more appealing for rebreeding – both for semen production in the bull and fertility in the female.
Finally, you can spread your resources over more area and find more marketing opportunities if you fall calve. If you calve in both the spring and fall, your bulls can cover more cows over two breeding seasons. Fall-born calves weaned in the spring can be retained through the feedlot or you can graze them on your own grass. Marketing opportunities are again dependent on location.
Although many advantages exist to fall-calving you won’t want to forget about the nutritional needs of the mama cow during her most critical time – late gestation and calving. To keep her healthy and productive, be sure to offer her a high-quality supplement like VitaFerm® HEAT® or Concept•Aid®, both with the Amaferm® advantage. Amaferm will work to keep her gut healthy, increasing intake, digestion and absorption of the nutrients she needs for maximum performance as a new mother, benefitting both her and her calf.
HEAT is specifically designed to help relieve heat stress associated with temperatures above 70 degrees. It contains the Amaferm advantage and Capsaicin, both research-proven to lower body temperature. It also contains garlic, to deter insects, keeping those cattle more comfortable and healthy. HEAT should be fed until the heat and humidity subside; and then your cows can be transitioned to Concept•Aid, designed to increase fertility and conception, resulting in more calves and therefore more profit in your pocket. Concept•Aid should be fed at least 60 days prior to breeding for maximum effectiveness.
Combine the advantages of fall calving with a sound nutritional program, and you are looking at a successful calving season with maximum profit potential. More pounds equal more profit. Don’t miss out the Amaferm advantage.