For breeders, calving during the birthing season is beneficial for the herd. This means, however, that the cows will give birth on the pasture - right in the middle of your daily rotation.
This presents the need for a completely different cattle management strategy. With fences to move, newborns to catch, and tall grass for the calves to hide in, a strategy redesign is in order, so you can deal with the challenges.
Here is a quick discussion on how you can use fences to manage a successful growing season:
Use a Moving Fence for Daily Pasture Moves
Make sure you have a moving back fence throughout the entire birthing season. This will allow you to continue providing access to a single day’s grazing at a time.
Doing this ensures that the grazing is small enough to easily find the newborns hiding in the grass. More importantly, daily pasture slices will alter the grazing behaviour of the herd in ways important to your herd management.
Use Electric Fences to Help Newborns Find Their Mothers Easily
Divide pasture slices using electric fences that are high enough for newborns to walk underneath. If the newborns get left behind during the pasture move, they can easily walk underneath the fence without touching it.
Electric fences also help prevent panicking calves from being shredded by barbwire fences. Also, as the calves grow older, they will learn to respect the electric wires.
Use Electric Fences for Calm Pasture Moves
Pasture moves with the use of electric fences keeps the cows calm and encourages them to move in the same manner. This allows them to remember where their calves are. During calm environments like this, a cow missing a calf often turns back and walks against the flow of cattle to retrieve their newborn.
The speed of the cattle walking to the next grazing site will make all the difference between the newborns getting picked up or abandoned by their mothers.
Here at Direct Trades Supply (DTS), we can provide you with a variety of fences to suit your cattle management needs. We have farm locks, steel posts, wire fencing, electric fencing, and many more that will help you manage a successful birthing season on pasture.
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