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Every number has a story: 30%

Colostrum, creep feeding, growing rations and feedlot finishing diets. They all matter.

Reiman2279smallThey impact everything from calf health and profitability to performance and final carcass quality.

But when you’re adding it all up, there’s another number that is “critically important” when it comes to nutrition, says Kim Vonnahme, of North Dakota State University.


“If we look at a steer from conception to consumption, approximately 30% of that steer’s lifetime is being spent in the uterus,” she says. The placenta accounts for almost a third of its total cumulative nutrition.

Stop and think about that for a minute.

A third of a calf’s nutrition has nothing to do with what you put in front of it. I hadn’t really thought of that until Kim mentioned it during a phone interview. Perhaps you hadn’t either.

Of course, that’s all based on averages, but it roughly translates to: Cowherd nutrition isn’t about the cows, or rather, it’s not just about the cows.

2013_03_14_mr_Martin Ranch-24smallerLast winter, Allison Myer, of the University of Missouri gave me a few other significant numbers on the topic.

It can be hard to keep up with the herds energy needs because in the last 90 days of pregnancy, fetal growth takes about 30% of the total requirements, she said.

“That is often when we’re also battling things like really cold weather and poor forage quality for spring-calving herds, or really hot weather and poor forge quality for fall-calving herds,” she said.

Hard, but not impossible. It takes planning ahead and preparing for emergencies.

And since many spring-calving herds are about ZERO days away (give or take, of course) from that third trimester, it wouldn’t hurt to give it some thought today.

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,


We’re over halfway through our month-long blogging adventure, “Every number has a story.” Catch up here:

Day one: $6.93

Day two: 2.5 million

Day three: $204.10

Day four: 12.1 million

Day five: 11/13

Day six: 8 million

Day seven: 139

Day eight: $39

Day nine: 30.1%

Day 10: 120 million

Day 11: -2.26

Day 12: 12 to 15 minutes 

Day 13: 30%

Day 14: 32 million

Day 15: $154,000



blackinkmiranda Visit Website
I love God, my kids, my hubby, rural life, agriculture and working for CAB. I’m officially the director of producer communications, which basically means I get to learn from lots of smart people and pass that information along to lots of other smart people: you. I’m so lucky to work with cattle producers and other folks in this great industry. (Oh, and one more job perk? I get to eat lots of really yummy beef.)
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