Forage-efficient cows maintain their back fat during winter, calve earlier in the calving season and wean heavier calves relative to their own weight, according to a University of Saskatchewan study.
Dr. Greg Penner said the study shows how cow-calf producers can assess their cows without relying on feed-use efficiency, which is a typical measurement.
“In mature cows, we’re not really looking to maximize and, in many cases, not looking to add gain,” he said recently during a presentation at the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association annual meeting.
“If we just focus on gain and feed intake, we’re ignoring the profit centre for the cow-calf sector. Most ranchers are looking for those cows to maintain body condition score in the environment and conditions that they’re out in.”
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