By Rayford Pullen
With fall officially here, we turn our attention toward the upcoming winter months and costs associated with keeping our herds healthy, productive and profitable. In our area of North Texas, forage quality improves dramatically once the temperatures moderate, meaning cool the heck down, and we get rain to rejuvenate it. Once nighttime temperatures begin hitting the 45-degree mark, growth basically stops, but the quality is really good and should remain good until a couple of weeks after our first freeze, which normally arrives mid-November. After that, we may need to supplement protein. If your cattle are thin going into the winter, you also will need to supplement energy, like grain, in order to prevent nutritional and health problems particularly affecting reproduction.
October is usually a wonderful month for us in regards to cattle production and economy. It also is when our fall born calves begin arriving, and what a pleasure it is to calve, especially first calf heifers, when the temperatures are north of 50. As our fall calves begin hitting the ground, we are fence-line weaning, deworming and vaccinating our spring born calves for blackleg and respiratory problems.
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