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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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The majority, at least two-thirds, of cattle producers are spring-calving operations, with calves being born during the months of February through May and some producers having calves hitting the ground as early as late January and as late as May.

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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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