AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Dr. Sara Linneen, a beef cattle technical consultant from Elanco Animal Health at the 5th AABP Recent Graduate Conference in new Orleans, La. Linneen received her PhD in ruminant nutrition from Oklahoma State University and discusses tips for veterinarians to work with cow-calf producers to ensure we have a successful calving season. We start off by discussing the calving environment and suggest that veterinarians talk about making sure the calving area is clean and producers have the facilities to assist cows that are experiencing a dystocia. Linneen suggests that veterinarians assist producers by preparing a nutrition program for cows that supports healthy cows to ensure lactational performance which will improve calf weaning weights as well as improve reproductive efficiency when cows are ready to be bred back. Calves that are born to nutritionally deficient cows gain an average of 0.2 pounds per day less which can lower weaning weights by 20 pounds per calf! Precision is important and forage testing is an important part of a beef cow nutrition program. She recommends body condition scoring cows just before calving and again in the summer. We also discuss the important of a precise mineral program for cows based on your geographic area and the important role of monensin for cow and calf health as well as productivity. Monensin will improve the environment for calves by decreasing coccidiosis as well as improving feed efficiency by 5-10%. Veterinarians play a critical role in preventing disease as well as improving production efficiencies for their cow-calf clients.
Find beef nutrition resources, including a Rumensin ® calculator on the Beef Health Management Committee resources page.