February and March are heavy calving months. Management decisions during this period will dramatically affect your operation’s productivity. You should consider implementing the following programs:
- Monitor body-condition scores (BCS): mature cows should be in moderate condition (BCS 5) while first-calf heifers should be slightly fleshier (BCS 6).
- Monitor calving cows on a regular basis.
- Separate pairs from gestating cows: this will provide a cleaner environment for the calves and optimize feeding programs.
- Feed pregnant females late in the day to stimulate daytime calving.
- Record birth weights and calving ease scores.
- Monitor calf scours and treat immediately.
- Reduce the impact of cold stress by providing shelter and wind protection.
- Continue supplement programs and increase the level for the higher requirements of lactating cows.