We’re all waiting for it. That first sign of green poking up across the pastures signaling spring and all that comes with it, namely, the chance to finally park the feed truck. Be cautious of calling it quits on the feed route too soon, however, as that early green grass may not meet all the nutrient needs of your cowherd right away.

 Limited Volume Could Set Cows Back

The primary issue in early spring is not the quality of available forage, there just isn’t enough of it.  When volume of grass is limited, cows will actually burn through more nutrients walking pastures searching for the next green patch than they will be able to consume. If grass is the sole source of nutrition, this nutrient deficit will quickly result in a decrease in body score, impacting lactation and breed back.

Talk with a MHM feed expert today to get your cattle ahead of the game this season.  Schedule a consult now!

Critical Nutrient Needs

For spring-calving cows, this transition to a grass-only diet also comes at a critical time in the gestational cycle when nutrient requirements are at their highest.  In the final trimester of pregnancy and beginning lactation, a cow’s energy and protein requirements increase significantly.  Meeting those nutrient needs is vital for adequate milk production (read: this year’s calf crop) and successful rebreeding (read: next year’s calf crop). A cow’s body condition score at calving plays a major role in how quickly she will cycle and rebreed. A minor drop in body score can delay or even prevent breed back, resulting in fewer and smaller calves at weaning.

Supplementing Energy for Success

Pulling the plug on your supplementation program too soon could cause a ripple effect you’ll be dealing with for years. Avoiding this springtime setback is simple with a high energy, high protein distillers cube program. Maintain a feeding regimen of 2-4 pounds per head per day and free-choice hay until grass is well established.  Keep supplementing through calving and early lactation to reach or maintain a body condition score (BCS) 6.


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