SoMo Farm & Ranch Supply in Springfield, Missouri, wants you to get the most out of your herd this year.
As the weather turns warmer, it’s important to provide the right nutrition for your cattle, particularly as they start to calve and the grass turns green after the winter thaw.
Take a look at some of our cattle feeding tips for the spring.
Increased Nutrition for Gestation
Your cows may get pregnant with calves as early as February. As they gestate, your cattle’s individual nutritional requirements increase from the first trimester to the last, and then max out during lactation when the calf gets most of its nutrition from mother’s milk.
Don’t Overgraze New Grass
Spring rains continue to turn your pastures greener and greener every day. Your cattle love that they can now munch on fresh food straight out of the ground.
But be careful not to overgraze now, because if you do your cattle may not have enough grass later in the spring when they need it more for calves. You still may need to rely on your stores of hay until late spring.
Consider adding grains to your cattle’s diet to increase their protein intake from soybean or cottonseed meal. Alfalfa hay is another option, but it may not be suitable for all of your cows.
Energy Expenditure and Body Condition
When cattle start to forage for newly growing grass, the new shoots might be so short that your herd expends way too much energy trying to forage. Expending too much energy can cause their body condition to worsen over time, and that makes it more difficult to gestate and raise healthy calves.
Yes, you can use supplements to bring an individual’s body condition back up. But trying to play catch-up is harder than staying ahead.
Offer free-choice hay until the grass is lush and plentiful. Soaking rains in April and May should do the trick, and your pasture can last until the fall. Supplement early in the spring, too.
What Cattle Supplements are Good for Spring?
New grass typically has high phosphorus levels, and the bitterness of the grass can reduce the palatability of your cattle’s diet. Consider using a high-magnesium mineral supplement with low phosphorus to make cattle grazing go easier.
We offer many types of feed supplements for your herd at SoMo Farm & Ranch. Crystalyx® is one of the best brands of supplements out there for efficient supplementation for any situation.
We also have an extensive selection of Stockade and VitaFerm products in addition to our proprietary Double-O-feeds produced right here in Southwest Missouri. We also carry several products with alfalfa in them for extra protein until your fields become lusher.