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Reproduction

From the earliest genetic decisions to the final protocols for calving, discover the best information to improve your herd’s reproductive performance.

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I was raised in the southeastern U.S. (Appalachia, to be more specific), and most of my professional career has been spent in Mississippi and Tennessee.

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Reproduction has the greatest effect on profitability of a cow herd. If cows don’t breed back, there isn’t much else they can do that matters. One of the main drivers of fertility is body condition score (BCS).

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Just like our human families, we spend a lot of time with the cows on our ranch, and they become part of our families. It’s often hard to see them go when the vet draws an “o” on their sides calling them open on pregnancy check day.

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Scours are an issue across nearly every operation in the U.S. Though the cause of scours is known – stress, leading to an immune problem – what drives it is different from one region to the next.

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Most progressive producers have their cows examined for the diagnosis of pregnant versus not pregnant (or “open”) at some time point prior to calving, most commonly around the time of weaning. There are some potential advantages to performing this examination earlier – approximately 90 to 100 days following the start of the breeding season.

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Yearling heifers can often be a conundrum when it comes to getting bred. No matter how big they are or how pretty they look, there’s always the chance they just won’t settle. There are a variety of reasons, but the fact remains: They are open when preg-checked in the fall.

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