How to Achieve Your Herd’s Heaviest Weaning Weights

Jan 18, 2023

Written by Adam Warren, South-Central Sales Manager for Zinpro

Now that your cows have calved, it’s time to focus on raising healthy, productive calves. You can improve herd performance through proven nutrition, resulting in improved cow performance and heavier calf weaning weights that drive profitability. 

There are many factors regarding profitability in a cattle operation. Trace minerals are a small piece of the profitability puzzle, but they make a big, noticeable impact. As I have interacted with producers over the years, a common profitability theme has surfaced. Producers who prioritize proven animal nutrition have been more likely to increase their profitability through improved performance, including higher weaning weights. beef cattle.

Help Your Animals Overcome Growth Obstacles
It can be challenging to obtain calves’ full weaning weight potential. Important factors in weaning weights are cow health, stress, immunity and nutrition. All impact the calf’s ability to thrive from birth to weaning. You must properly supplement the cow for improved calf performance, both while she’s pregnant and when she’s raising the new calf.  

Because forage is the main feed source of beef range cattle, one must consider supplementing according to the forage quality throughout the year in order to meet the cow and calf’s nutritional requirements.  When considering how to supplement a beef herd, it is important to understand what forage offers and what it lacks.  One of those shortages in most forages is trace minerals. While forages are sufficient for much of cattle’s needs, they are often lacking in important trace minerals such as zinc. Therefore, supplementation is needed to ensure the optimal levels of nutrients are available in the diet, meeting your herd’s nutritional needs to perform at the highest capability.  

Reach Full Weaning Weight Potential Before the Calf Arrives
Did you know that the probability of weaning success is greatly influenced before the calf arrives? You can be confident that you’re making the most of your investment when you use a proven nutrition strategy based on unrivaled trace mineral nutrition from Zinpro® to feed the cow and carry the calf to the finish line. 

Feeding Zinpro® Performance Minerals® year-round ensures your cows and calves have the nutrients they need to be productive.  Feeding cows Zinpro® Availa® 4, a multitrace mineral source with unrivaled absorption, enables your animals to make the most out of what they absorb and produce higher quality milk after calving. When calves receive more high-quality milk from cows fed Zinpro Availa 4, it helps them build a stronger immune system and gain an additional 28 pounds at weaning. 

Equip Cows to Raise More Productive Calves That Achieve Zinpro® Lifetime Performance™
Protect your investment by providing your beef herd with proven animal nutrition that equips cows to raise better performing calves.  

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A cold, January rain begins pattering the hood of his pickup as Lobelville cattleman Tim Byrd pulls up to the metal gate of his pasture. Across the fence, members of his commercial cow/calf herd look on expectantly, gathering near the fence.
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With winter conditions upon us, meeting our animals’ nutrient requirements is key to the economic success of our beef herds. For spring-calving cows, winter feeding coincides with the last third of gestation and early lactation. During this cycle, these cows require a higher level of nutrition than do dry cows in early gestation.
Everything starts with forage, both quantity and quality. It’s important to test and evaluate your forage to understand the amount of nutrients needed to meet the animal’s requirement. A basic forage analysis will offer information about the protein, fiber, and energy levels present, allowing producers to rank hay from various fields and cuttings according to their relative feeding value. Highest quality hays can then be reserved for lactating cows, heifers, and thin cows.