The Third Trimester – Scheduling Calving and 3rd Trimester Nutrition

The Third Trimester – Scheduling Calving and 3rd Trimester Nutrition

Hi I’m Mike, these cows are now entering
the third trimester of their pregnancy, in just a couple of months we will have new babies
running around but now is the time these moms require the most thought and care on our Wyoming
life. It doesn’t seem so long ago, last years
calves were running round, not a care in the world, and their moms were right there with
them. Showing them the ropes, how to eat grass,
where to find water and how to grow up and be big strong steers and heifers. It was around that time, that we introduced
the bulls back into the herd and they started a new cycle on the ranch, one where the cows
became pregnant again, as they started weaning off their own calves. We control when the cows become pregnant,
therefore we control when they have their calves. To an extent. The bulls lives with the cows for a set number
of days, those bulls are on a deadline of sorts and only have as long as we want to
spend calving in the spring to get their job done in the summer. For example, we normally calve beginning in
April, that means we have to put the bulls in with the cows 9 months prior to the day
we want to start. Cows have a 283 day gestation period and 9
months helps the math work out. 9 months before April 1st is roughly the end
of June, the previous year. So cows will start calving on April 1st, or
there abouts. We know that the first cycle or the first
21 days of calving is going to be the busiest as bulls do like to work fast, but the second
cycle is also going to be pretty hopping too. We also know that we have to get to haying
in the summer, normally that starts about July 1st, so if we are going to have start
shifting attention away from calving and towards haying at the beginning of July we want most
of our cows to be done calving by then. April 1st to July 1st is a space of about
90 days. Thats the time we have to get all the cows
calved, but we also want a bit of a buffer so we are going to take 20 days off that for
a total of 70 days. That’s all the time the bulls get to spend
with the cows and after they go in on July 1st, we need to make sure they come out around
the beginning of September. Now we know that all of our cows that are
pregnant, were impregnated in that time frame. Unless a neighbors bull snuck in, which does
happen. Another important step in the breeding process
is preg checking, we do that in the fall and our goal is to make sure that every cow on
the ranch is pregnant. Those that aren’t usually leave the ranch,
in order to preserve food and resources for those that are and help provide for the ranch
in the following year. Using the same formula, many ranchers and
farmers can calve at different times. Some need to get in the fields by April, that
may mean they schedule calving in January through March. Some may have a shorter window in which to
calve and those will leave their bulls in for shorter times to get more done, or some
may AI further control their calving season. For us, we want to make sure that not only
we are free by haying but we also want to make sure that when it is time to wean the
calves that they have the best grass they can on the prairie. Most of our summer grasses wont be in full
production until June and July, and if we calved earlier those calves would be more
dependent on their moms during that time, which will reduce the health of mom and her
own nutrition levels. And the moms, have a hard enough job already. Now that they are entering the 3rd trimester
of their pregnancy, the calf growing inside her is really kicking things into high gear. Over the next 3 months her calf will grow
by 75%, taking the fetus from around 20 lbs now to a birth weight of 75 lbs. Over the next few months the calf will build
up its vital organs, muscle, blood and bone structure and the need for further nutrition
for both the cow and the calf skyrockets. Both are going to need more protein, energy,
vitamins and minerals and mom has to increase blood flow to the fetus as well as prepare
for the onset of lactation. Up until now the cows have been eating what
we consider poor to medium quality forages, those that we harvested off of our own ranch. Those that struggled with drought and hail
damage and up until now the cows have been adjusting themselves for that. Their activity has been lower all winter,
allowing them to conserve energy and put more into the early development of their calves. They don’t go wandering the ranch this time
of year, they aren’t chasing green grass, and they know where the buffet is and that
buffet is about to get supersized. As their requirements for nutrients rises
we better be there to help them out. A cow doesn’t have much choice of feed here
in the northeast Wyoming, she is going to get what we give her and a cow that may be
lacking the nutrients she needs is going to have a harder time developing her calf here
in the last few laps of the race. The problem is, we don’t know which cows
may be lacking the nutrients they need. Just like people some are just healthier,
and might get all they need from their feed and have a perfectly healthy calf. Our here on the prairie the only way we have
to make sure that we get the right nutrients to the right cow is to offer something we
call free choice. Starting today and through the rest of their
pregnancy and even after calving all the cows out here will have access to more protein,
mineral and vitamins than they could possibly need. That starts with us buying some hay. Because of weather conditions this summer
our hay was lacking in the protein department and only measured at around 7% crude protein. During this stage of pregnancy the cows need
9 to 12% crude protein in their diet, and we have friends about 200 miles south of us
that are kind enough to sell us some of their alfalfa hay, put up near Torrington Wyoming,
on irrigated fields and measuring nearly 14% protein. This new hay, mixed with our remainder of
better hay we were able to get off the ranch will be enough to take the cows through the
rest of their pregnancy, by then, grass will be growing and will hopefully be enough to
get them a start as they begin lactation. Along with the new hay, we will be giving
all the cows free access to salt and mineral blocks. These contain minerals and vitamins all cows
need, and they should have access to at all times. In addition we will be rolling out more lick
tubs, these tubs weigh 250lbs each are a nutrient dense blend of molasses solids, protein, vitamins,
minerals and trace minerals. With another source of 20% protein, fat and
calories, these lick barrels will allow a higher intake of nutrients right when the
cows need them, especially while forage quality isn’t the best to support early lactation. This may all sound like a lot, but with over
100 cows out here, competition does get fierce. You can actually watch on our webcam, from
our website as the cows hang out at these blocks and barrels. Each cow that needs it, regulating her own
intake. But there are pigs amongst these cows, too
much of a good thing can be bad, and its our job to regulate that as well. Over the next few weeks we will monitor all
of these pregnant moms very closely. The only indication that a cow is getting
too much protein well, that is evident at the other end, as things will get loose. A cow with diarrhea is never a good thing,
especially if you are on this end and means that she is getting more than her fair share. On the flip side, a cow that is too solid
may be having problems as well as she may not be absorbing enough nutrients on her own,
and that can be just as big of a problem if not worse. Soon there will lay a cute little calf, and
our responsibilities double, just like that. Its life on the ranch and I hope that you
can continue with us. Help me out, come to the website, do some
ranching for yourself, watch the cows, see how they are acting, cause soon enough, the
whole ranch will be on its ear as calving tends to change our lives completely. Subscribe, follow along, and explore the ranch
life, escape your ordinary and lets get ready to calve, on our Wyoming life.

93 thoughts on “The Third Trimester – Scheduling Calving and 3rd Trimester Nutrition”

  1. First time commenting on ANY youtube channel. I grew up in a large extended family that were either ranchers, farmers & and 1 uncle that was a dairyman that milked approx. 80-90 cows by himself. He worked ALL the time. But he has 1,200 acres bought & paid for only owing minimal taxes annually. He's now in the beef industry only as small dairies have unfortunately have been put out of business by huge dairy operations. Although I don't want to ranch or farm for 100% of my living, I am looking to sell my current house & buy a home with some acreage & make it more of a homestead to enjoy when I'm not working my regular job. I miss working with cattle & the daily chores that I use to help my Pa & Ma with around their farm in Sulphur Bluff, TX. Your channel is what rekindled my desire to get back to my roots. Y'all are awesome & I find myself watching past episodes & can't wait to get back out their & get my hands dirty again! Thank you!!!

  2. One thing you didnt say about the last trimester and especially in the eight month of pregnancy the calf and fetal membranes/fluids take up a lot of space and therefor momma cant eat quite as much as before

  3. Hey Mike have you tried using lose salt and minerals so they wouldn't have to lick so much? Yeah sometimes that happens when they get to much protein, which we always heard it means there bypassing it;) but yes mike you are right on that part that's why sometimes farming stinks especially when the weather doesn't corporate good for haying but inerways good video.πŸ‘

  4. Mike does all the work and I get to enjoy the ranch while eating chinese food.. now this is how YouTube is supposed to work!! God bless America!!

  5. Good video Mike I see you take pride in your cow heard that awesome my friend ! You take care of them they will help take care of you ! Hello from Daniel from central Mississippi

  6. Can the bulls be depended on to share the love with all the girls? Do you help nature along? Ugly cows might need a little artificial action?

  7. the cows dont seem to mind that your rubbing their stomach and back. They seem to enjoy what your giving them. Thank you for sharing this video.

  8. Hi Mike you done a Excellent job on your farm working with animals and crops . They are beautiful and healthy, Out on a farm with a lovely family. You always checking on them to see if they are ok. You are a lover and a care taker. I love you and your family,those healthy animals. God Bless You. I enjoyed your video.

  9. Excellent video, as usual, Mike! These vignettes you show go to help the majority of us, who are not farmers and ranchers, just how involved and complicated it is to producing the food we eat every day.

  10. Yay! I always enjoy the calving season. I wonder if that doohickey you attach to the tail is a help, and if there are any new ideas just around the corner to assist during calving time?

  11. Fantastic edit, Mike. Wow.
    How much of the … ins and outs, of a cow do you track in herd tracker?
    Data is power, but how much is too much.

    #27, April 1st, with a healthy steer, for the #1 calf tag.
    If I win, I donate my winnings to EPP. LOL -EZ

  12. A great video Mike explaining the vitamins and nutrition medical needs even if she's not pregnant, but especially when she is pregnant.great video

  13. Mike do you allow the cattle to birth in the pasture? If so is there anything you do to try to get the calf to latch on mom? I have a highland heifer I hope is pregnant (small operation no preg check) and wonder if I need to move her in the barn. Thanks!

  14. Hi again MIKE
    You've come full circle to start all over again! The excitement and the challenges no doubt hold unknown surprises that hopefully will be good ones. More watching and waiting in the middle of the night and fighting that wind cold and snow of Wyoming winters. New life starts dropping everywhere and there you are back to the beginning and another year of your Wyoming Life…
    Hoping for a good year for you all and surprises only of the good kind. Thx as always for sharing Mike…

  15. Hey Mike I find it very interesting what you said about the salt and protein licks. Animals just like people should have a a balanced diet. There is such a thing Of having too much of a good thing as well as not enough. I could see that your live stock is well taken care of. Keep up the good work and I'll see you in the next video.πŸ˜‰

  16. Great video. Like the way you mix in with them, keeps them calm and adjusted to human interaction. That will pay off big-time later when you have to work them.

  17. Mike, it sure seems like you have a good handle on the whole process. Thanks for taking the time to keep putting these videos up for the rest of us to enjoy and to learn a little at the same time.

  18. Awesome video! Seriously, top program and channel. 30 years ago this is what TV used to be. A lot of good information. Now TV is reality crap where you learn very little. I think I'll buy your jerky!

  19. I spent two summers as a teenager working on a ranch baling hay, fence mending, and cattle pushing. I enjoy the memories of those days and these videos remind me of them.

  20. By now you should be here in California. I really wanted to stop by to say hello, but my daughter that lives right near Tulare is planning on coming up here on Friday, so I need to stay home and tidy up. Her boyfriend is coming with her for the first time, so I want to make a decent impression.

  21. Thanks Mike for all the information. You are very informative.
    The cows seem to love their daddy ( you). It's nice to know that you take care of your beautiful herd.i find myself looking to start my day with your channel. God Bless you and your family. Safe travels and thank you for the most underappreciated job. β™₯οΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’•

  22. Thanks for the great info. Maybe you could have a place where we can pet a calf after we buy veggies from your store? They are so cute and soft!

  23. Mike, I watch several different channels and yours is by far the best. All of them are informational but you give extra and really help to learn the little details. Keep up the great work.

  24. Hi Mike,
    Another informative video. Thanks for the education you provide.
    I would love to see a one of your awesome videos on the signs of impending birth. I know to look for swelling udders, springing, and cows that separate from the herd. What else do you look for?

  25. Very informative. We had the mineral and salt blocks in the 1960's but not the protein lick tubs. Your analysis of protein content percentage of hay is important information. We depended more on the visual inspection of hay for a measure of quality. We fed high alfalfa content hay and less grass content. Experience from western Minnesota.

  26. Y'all check out their store and merch….so many awesome products…shot glasses, baby onesies, totes, so much….πŸ’•

  27. Hey Mike, have you thought of having Brahman X cows on your ranch. they do adapt to colder regions and would yield higher weights for less feed. This is a question and just thought to help out. hope all is going well for you and your family

  28. Very informal Mike! Like no other Ranch channels on YT🀠❀ Thanks for sharing your Wyoming life with usπŸœπŸŒ„

  29. We bought a bred Angus cow on Labor Day, 2019…said she was 2 mos. bred…but she came from another ranch…so the date is really iffy…we thought May, but boy she is getting big…not bagged up or loose in back…but we will be on watch here on out…she is our chance to have beef on the homestead…said she was 6 y/o…hoping to get a couple more calves from her…love watching your channel…will be needing all the info we can get..being new "cow" people…grin.

  30. Thank you for explaining the when of calving! My great uncle and his kids and grandkids have cattle. I wondered why they did bulk of their calving in February and you differently.

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