The biggest impact on weaning weight is the calving interval. The calving interval is determined by how quickly (or if) cows get bred back after calving. Cows must go through a period of involution before coming into estrus; this usually occurs within 45 – 60 days post-calving. During this period, cows must heal and regains their BCS before breeding back.
Acidosis can impair a cow’s ability to properly heal and cycle, therefore delaying breed back. Because the cow is lactating, her energy requirements have increased, making it even more important that she be able to digest and absorb the nutrition available in her feed. All these factors affect the producer’s bottom line in the year to follow.
The goal of every cattleman is to be able to wean the heaviest calf crop possible on the feedstuffs available in a given year.
- Drought – drought means there are less feedstuffs available
- Temperature – extreme heat or cold
- Humidity – greatly affects the heat index
- Scours – costs an average of $40/head plus weight loss = $85
- Pneumonia – costs an average of $38/head plus weight loss = $75
- Pink eye – $60 loss/head to treat & discount at sale
- Parasites – can cause a loss of 1 lb/day in performance
- Flies – can cause a loss of 0.5 lb/day in performance
- Number of females that breed on first or second heat cycle
- Females that breed on third or later heat cycle at a loss of $80/calf as compared to first heat cycle calves
- Heifers are the most difficult to get bred back. Many producers see an 85% or less breed back on heifers
30% of herd breeds back on 3rd heat cycle: $80/head = $2,400
5% opens: $1,350 loss/head = $6,750
Economic Impact of Scours on 100 head*
Cost of CattlActive® for 100 calves = $93.00
*Pneumonia impact is similar