Page 13 - MWC 10-26-2023s
P. 13

Focus on bull recovery after breeding season
                                                                                                The Midwest Cattleman · October 26, 2023 · P13

         As fall approaches, it is
      important to keep  in mind
      proper nutrition and care
      of the herd sires after the
      breeding season.  This is es-
      pecially true for bulls under
      two years of age, according
      to Iowa Beef Center research
      scientist Garland Dahlke.
         “It is common for a young
      sire to drop one to two body
      condition scores during the
      breeding season, so bringing
      the bull back into condition is
      the focus in the off season,"
      he said. "The bull is not a
      feedlot steer so a steady im-
      provement with a moderate  tritional needs during the                   For young bulls, rations  ter, roughage at 2% of body
      weight gain over the next few  winter. This also includes ad- should be formulated to gain  weight, and total diet protein
      months is appropriate."            equate bunk or feeder space,  half a pound to 2 pounds per  content of 10%-11% often
         Nutrition is dependent  so the submissive bulls have  day based on age, size, and  reach the target rate of gain.
      on the age of bulls and the  a fighting chance.                       desired weight gain.  Young  For bulls used in both spring
      amount of weight lost during          Typically, mature bulls in  bulls typically lose 50-200  and fall calving herds, young
      the breeding season. High  fairly good condition can be  pounds during their first  bulls typically need to gain
      quality forage alone or a  managed on an all-rough- breeding season, so prior- more with a target of 2 to 2.5
      lower quality forage with  age diet without supplemen- itizing  protein  and  energy  pounds  per day to  recover
      some grain supplementation  tation during the winter  in their diet will promote  from weight loss.
      can work in re-establishing  months, Dahlke said. Hay  growth and subsequent re-                           Iowa State University ex-
      body weight.                       quality should have 8%-10%  productive health.                       tension beef specialist Chris
         For effective management,  crude protein and be fed at               Young bulls fed 3 to 6
      group bulls with similar nu- 2% of their body weight.                 pounds of grain in the win-                     continued on page 24
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