Beef Tips

Tag: body condition score

The start of the third trimester, the most underappreciated day of the year

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist

Each of us have special dates we celebrate on an annual basis — birthdays, anniversaries and other special holidays. For the cow herd, notable dates might include the start of calving or breeding season and weaning. An undervalued date in cow-calf production is the start of the third trimester.

Off the top of your head and without calculating back from calving, do you know when the third trimester starts for your replacement heifers or cows? I’m guessing it’s not on many people’s radar. If you have a March 1 calving herd with replacements calving before cows, the third trimester starts for both in November.

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Tally Time – Timely measurements to aid management

by Sandy Johnson, livestock specialist

Body condition scoring is a numerical system to assess nutrient reserves of livestock. The system used in the U.S. beef industry is a scale of 1 (extremely thin) to 9 (obese). At weaning and before cold weather sets in, body condition scores can help determine what management is needed to ensure cows have sufficient nutrients to produce high quality colostrum and have adequate reserves to rebreed in a timely fashion post-calving.  Notice nutrition during this time point influences TWO calf crops, doubly important.

Don’t fall prey to the busyness of life and put off this key measurement. K-State Research and Extension has developed two tools to help you remember to take this measurement and record it.

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