Blog > January 2020 > Importance of Cow Nutrition in the Last Trimester

Importance of Cow Nutrition in the Last Trimester

January 6, 2020

The word fetal programming has become frequently used in the livestock industry the last few years, but what does that mean? We already know lifetime performance is influenced by events before birth, but do we realize how much our gestating cow’s nutrition impacts fetal development. Did you know the nutrition that bred cows receive this year can affect a cow fertility for the next 8 to 12 years through not only their daughters, but also their grand and great-granddaughters?

Here are the steps in which development occurs: In the first trimester, placenta and organs form. In the second trimester, organs grow, and muscle tissues develop. 75% of fetal growth occurs during the third trimester, including final development of lungs. Gestational nutrition impacts milk quality and quantity, calf performance, heifer reproduction in replacements, and less pull later in the feed yard.  It is also important to note that changing forages can cause a gap in cattle nutrition, which can easily go undetected.  Therefore, it is essential to have a plan in place to make sure bred cows are getting proper nutrition. Supplementation of tubs or loose mineral can help meet bred cow’s needs year-round.
Mineral availability is constantly changing, so a year-round mineral program is very important. Availa 4 mineral is fed 60-90 days prior to calving through breeding and is a great option for producers with high-performance expectations, areas with forage issues, herds with reproductive problems, or herd health and foot issues. Besides a mineral program, keeping body condition on our cows is also important. For most of a cow’s life, they aren’t just feeding themselves. They are either nursing a calf or are both pregnant and nursing. To help rebreeding 85 days after calving, proper nutrition is essential.
In summary, it is important not to just consider bred cow nutrition, but to also think of the developing fetus needs as well.  It is a new year, and a perfect time to overhaul your cattle nutrition program.  If you need help or would like a consultation, contact our CVA feed team today.
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 1/6/2020 6:36:57 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments

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