CALVING SEASON CHECKLIST
Time to drag your calving supplies out and dust them off; it’s that time of year again. Do you have a checklist of what you should have on hand? Some of the most important categories to think about are: calving barn equipment (i.e. pullers, ob chains, sleds, warmers), milk products and bottles (i.e. colostrum replacer, milk replacer, nipples), and electrolytes (i.e. gels, powders, drenches). Other handy equipment includes rubber gloves, ob sleeves, needles, syringes, and iodine. It’s better to be over prepared than under, so make sure to stock up before calving starts!
FEEDING BIO MOS PRE-CALVING
Bio-Mos is a feed supplement derived from yeast that is designed to help improve gut health and overall animal performance. Feeding Bio-Mos 4-6 weeks prior to calving has been proven to help improve colostrum quality and vaccine titers on scours vaccines. Bio-Mos has also been shown to help tie up pathogenic bacteria and help reduce scours in baby calves. For the greatest benefit on calf health it is recommended that you start feeding Bio-Mos 4-6 weeks pre-calving. Time to act fast! We carry Bio-Mos in tubs to mix in your own feed, premixed in loose mineral, and in lick tubs! Now is the time to get it out to those mama cows.
BENEFITS TO FORAGE AND WATER TESTING
The best place to start designing your winter feed plan is to start with what you already have. What is the protein content of the hay you plan to feed? What minerals are present in your water? These are important questions when designing the most economical feeding plan for your cows. If your hay is very good then there may be no need to spend money on a protein supplement. If your water is high in sulfur (an essential nutrient but also an antagonist at high levels) you may need to adjust your supplementation to avoid toxicity and ensure that the cows are getting enough copper and molybdenum. The only way to know what you are starting with is by testing. We are happy to report that we can help you collect samples of your forages and water sources and send them in to the lab for you. Once we get the result of the testing, our trained associates can go over the results with you and help make a feeding plan that best suits your cattle’s needs. Testing is a small expense that can save you money throughout the rest of the year, ensuring you are only spending money on feeds your cows will actually benefit from. Give us a call today to find out more! 406-436-2350