By Rayford Pullen
In our area of the world, I’ve always considered January 15 through February15 as the worst part of the winter where gains are hard to come by due to calories being spent on just keeping warm with little left over for gain.
Having our cattle in really good condition as the result of a late freeze in the fall allowed extra time for gain in our cow herd after weaning spring born calves while forage quality was good. As a result, we expect these cattle to be in better condition when they calve this spring (in the middle of winter) and subsequently have fewer calf health problems with the cows breeding back more quickly.
We will probably feed our cattle like we always have but with them in such great shape, they will remain in better shape throughout the winter.
Somewhere along the line in my lifetime, I read that cows will normally lose approximately 150 pounds during the winter without sacrificing production but if they are not in above average condition going into winter, then that’s not weight we can afford to give up.
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