Clean water troughs
Clean out water troughs regularly. If cattle don’t drink, they don’t eat and as a result don’t perform. By regularly I mean at least weekly.
Get calves off to the best possible start with a good supply of colostrum. Lazy drinkers should be stomach tubed if necessary, within the firstsix hours.
If you have vaccinated cows, the full benefit will not be transferred to calves unless sufficient colostrum is consumed.
Don’t stock pens too heavily, to avoid bullying of fresh cows and injury to calves
Make sure you grow young stock as well as possible; gaining weight on these young animals is much cheaper than on older ones. Many silages, particularly first cuts from last year, are low in protein.
Low protein diets for young stock will prevent good intakes, and cattle will not grow on a low-protein diet.
Cattle that commenced finishing in early October should now be close to finish. Stock housed in November may now benefit from an increase in energyin their diet, to get the final finish over the next month.
Is your finishing system the one which will give you the best returns?
It may be time to reassess your system — steers versus bulls versus heifers?