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Feeding suckler cows for a successful calving – event summary

29 November 2016

This suckler cow event held at Townhead Farm near Dumfries  focussed on how to manage suckler cows through the winter housing period to get them into the best condition for achieving a productive and successful calving.Cattle at a feed rail

The main topics of the meeting were:

  • A practical session on how to condition score cows
  • How to assess feed stocks & interpret feed analyses
  • A practical session on how to ration cattle successfully.
  • Veterinary officers from SRUC Veterinary Service explained the causes of abortion and dwarf calf syndrome & what preventative measures can be taken to reduce these issues.

Key messages to take home:Man giving a presentation in a cattle shed

  1. Analyse silage and understand the quality of your silage and what you are feeding.
  1. Feed the best available silage to late pregnant suckler cows.
  1. Ration cows to manage body condition score targets. Aim to get cows in correct condition six weeks pre calving.
  1. Condition scoring and feeding accordingly is key to optimising herd health and fertility, minimising calving difficulties and improving herd output. Group of farmers in a shed listening to a presentation
  1. Body condition score by handling the first quarter of cows through the crush then do the remainder by eye. Act on what you find by grouping to condition and manage accordingly.

Downloadable copies of the information from the event is available below.


Related Downloads
Beef Industry Update by Gavin Hill from the ‘Feeding Suckler Cows for a Successful Calving’ meeting
Feeding a Ruminant Handout from Feeding Suckler Cows for a Successful Calving – Dumfries
“Bovine Abortion” presentation by Heather Stevenson SRUC Veterinary Officer
Man giving a presentation in a cattle shed

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