New resources have been added to www.BodyConditionScoring.ca to help cow-calf producers make decisions about managing body condition in their cow herd. Cattle producers know that fat cover plays a crucial role in the reproduction, health and welfare of their animals. These new resources will help guide them when modifying practices on farm to better manage body condition and increase their herds’ productivity and profitability.
The new feed cost calculator gives producers the opportunity to compare the extra expense of adding condition to thin cows in the Fall to the extra value gained by the resulting larger calf crop. The calculator is not a ration formulation tool but rather a customizable demonstration of extra costs versus extra returns. Producers can select a 60 or 90-day feeding period scenario to increase cow condition by one body condition score (BCS), and input their own herd size, feed supply options, feed costs and projected weaned calf sale price for a better understanding of what’s most profitable on their operation.
The webpage also now has the following two-page fact sheets which offer science-based, practical advice:
- Reproductive Issues with Over- and Under-Conditioned Cows (PDF)
- Maintaining Condition Year-Round for Maximum Profitability (PDF)
- Develop a Winter Feeding Program for Under-Conditioned Cows (PDF)
BodyConditionScoring.ca launched in January to offer a fresh look at the importance of monitoring the nutrition of beef cows and the role body condition plays in overall productivity and profit. The webpage also features an interactive tool that makes the impacts of maintaining cows in various conditions clear, and an engaging four minute video that shows how to quickly and easily score cows’ body condition.
The project is a collaborative effort between the Beef Cattle Research Council, Alberta Beef Producers, Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Funding was provided by Alberta’s Growing Forward 2 Livestock Welfare Delivery Agent Program. Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial government initiative to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
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