- Nutrition and body condition of the suckler cow has a very important role to play in ensuring the cow successfully delivers and rears a calf every year.
- Nutrition around calving impacts on calving ease, calf survival and cow fertility.
- Manage nutrition by grouping cows according to body condition score and formulate rations to meet their energy, protein and mineral requirements for the stage that they are at.
- Forage analysis is important so that rations can be tailored to meet the nutritional requirements of the cow during pregnancy and lactation.
The goal in any suckler system is for the cow to produce a calf every year, with a calving interval as close to 365 days as possible. There are many factors involved in achieving this goal, however nutrition plays an important part and can often be over-looked. A few simple rules of thumb and steps to follow can help improve nutritional management of the cow and maximise her health and productivity.
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