Which Cows Are Worth Keeping? Select Cows That Best Fit Your Operation

 

By Paige Carlson, Drovers   

September 16, 2022

 

In a year like this, taking time to evaluate your herd and its present genetics may be valuable to set your operation up for success in the coming years.

 

For a spring calving cow, with a weaning-aged calf at her side, now’s a great time to evaluate the performance of that cow for your operation. Experts at the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University share their insights for consideration.

 

Body Condition Score

 

From a nutritional standpoint, body condition score can be a good place to start. However, it’s important to analyze why “thin cows” are thin. Are they producing more milk than the forage resources can support? Therefore, will they take additional or supplemental feed resources to get back to breeding condition?

 

In a drought year, these factors may be emphasized. However, as droughts may occur more than once in a cow’s lifetime, now might be a good time to genetically select for cows that “do better” during tougher environment years.

 

Frame Size ...

 

Easy-Keeping Cows ...

 

Net Benefit ...

 

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