Veterinarian Don Coover Says Pregnancy Management Key to ProfitabilitySat, 10 Oct 2015 09:55:50 CDT
Cattle producers are always trying to make more money in their operation through optimization, but herd management is an important part of that goal. Dr. Don Coover, a veterinarian from Southeastern Kansas that runs SEK Genetics spoke recently at the recent Heart of America Farm Show. He works with cow-calf producers in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma with herd health and more- and says one of the things he tries to communicate to his clients is making sure their mamma cows are bred.
“If you don’t have a calf on the ground, that somebody feels is desirable to buy, you’re not getting anywhere with it,” Coover said.
Dr. Coover spends a lot of time working with producers on their herd genetics, but equally important is time spent on pregnancy management. He often evaluates what producers are doing to get their cattle bred. This involves making sure each cow is bred, stays pregnant, and making sure there is no pregnancy wastage. Coover also looks for diseases in the herd that need to be eradicated or controlled. This results in a lot of testing for diseases like Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) and Neosporosis. These diseases can be very destructive to a herd. By testing for those conditions, he said that can help producers become a lot more profitable.
One of the newest technologies to come along provides a very convenient and accurate way to see if a cow is pregnant. Coover said producer’s can draw blood from a cow and send it to a laboratory. The results will show if that cow is pregnant or open. The cow has to be at least 28 days into gestation. He said that information allows producers to know quickly and easily if their cows are getting bred, staying pregnant, calving at the appropriate time and if those calves are healthy and performing well. The next step is looking at the environment and nutrition that helps cattle realize their genetic potential. Coover said all those factors are tied together.
“In a cow-calf environment - if a cow doesn’t come up with calf, she is way too expensive to own,” Coover said. “…Cows that don’t carry live calves to term, are cows you can’t afford to have. I don’t care how pretty she is, it doesn’t work.”
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Dr. Don Coover on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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