Improving the performance and productivity in your cow herd every year is something most farmers and ranchers strive to achieve. To truly thrive, beef cattle must receive optimum trace mineral nutrition throughout their productive life stages. Lifetime Performance is focused on reproduction, birth, growth and production through proper year-round nutrition. When thinking about Lifetime Performance, it is exactly what the words state. What can you do to better raise cattle to reach their genetic potential in their lifetime? And how can we utilize organic trace minerals in their diets to reach this potential to raise productive females?
For producers, there’s great satisfaction in seeing products perform that help optimize the health and performance of your cows. Recently I was talking with a cow-calf producer in Western Canada who added Zinpro Performance Minerals® into their nutrition program. After seeing improved conception rates of 10% more heifers pregnant than previous years, that allowed them to evaluate their entire herd performance. From this conception rate optimization, he was able to retain fewer calves from the calf crop and be able to cull the underperforming cows. His nutrition program is creating the opportunity to build the quality of his herd and improve the return on his investment.
Overcoming Performance Challenges with Lifetime Performance
Beef producers are continually facing different obstacles that can negatively impact productivity. Whether battling a health challenge, difficult weather conditions or your cattle are facing stress, consistent year-long trace mineral supplementation will set your beef cattle up to combat these circumstances as they arise.
Success or failure often comes down to achieving your goals through four production stages.
- Reproduction – How do we optimize the reproductive performance of cows to get them bred early in the breeding season? There are many factors that can influence cows during this time, for example, if they are under stress or battling a health challenge. If their immune systems are challenged, this could delay when the cow is bred resulting in economic losses.
- Birth – What does it take to raise a healthy calf? When thinking about optimizing calf health, it starts at conception. Ensuring that the cow’s nutritional needs are met will help improve her reproductive productivity and help that calf get off to a strong start. We’ve all seen animals who have had a rough start and it takes their entire lifetime to catch up to the rest of the herd.
- Growth – Weaning healthy calves with a strong immune system will help them as they move into a feedlot or are kept to be brought back into the cow herd. Bringing weaned calves into a feedlot causes them stress that can result in an immune challenge, reduced feed intake and slower overall growth.
- Production – Enhancing the performance of your herd is critical for maximizing profitability. Daily trace mineral supplementation is one of the simplest ways to set up your animals for a lifetime of success, while avoiding the major health and production issues that cut into your margins.
Year-round Nutrition for Healthier, More Profitable Cows and Calves
Making a decision to implement year-round supplementation of performance trace minerals can help boost annual income for beef producers. When looking at the investments made in your cow herd’s genetics and heifer retention, it makes sense to invest in their nutrition to see improved performance numbers.
For Zinpro, Lifetime Performance boils down to five key improvements to the health and wellbeing for cow/calf operations:
- 28% increase in colostrum IgG content – Quality colostrum is a huge factor in establishing your calves’ immune system. Improved colostrum immunoglobulin concentration contributes to an overall increase in calf health.
- 20% improved conception rate – A productive herd depends on reproductive success. Many variables affect the fertility of your cows. The trace minerals in Zinpro® Availa® 4 play a critical role in heat cycles, response to synchronization and pregnancy retention
- 30% reduction in foot rot – Foot rot in cows can lead to lower milk production and to reduced weight gain in calves. Studies have shown that cattle fed Zinpro Performance Minerals experience a significant reduction in hoof disorders in pasture.
- 28 lbs. greater weaning weight – When beef cattle reach their full weaning potential, that can increase profitability. Adding organic trace minerals to their diet can help with stress and immune challenges, helping them to maintain better health and reach heavier weaning weights.
- 20% reduction in morbidity – Decreasing morbidity in the finishing period by feeding Zinpro® Availa® Zn can make the difference between profit and loss for your operation.
Optimizing the performance of your cow herd year-round is critical for maximizing profitability. Follow along for the next article in the Lifetime Performance blog series to learn more about how you can optimize reproductive performance in your cow herd by improving the conception rate.