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Theriogenology. 2004 Apr 15;61(6):997-1007.

Calving and calving management of beef cows and heifers on cow-calf operations in the United States.

Author information

1
USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mailstop 2E7, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117, USA. David.A.Dargatz@aphis.usda.gov

Abstract

A national sample of cow-calf producers was contacted to participate in a study to describe selected calving management practices on operations throughout the United States. Information was gathered on calving season, frequency of dystocia, frequency of observation, timing of assistance, and calving facilities. Regional and herd size differences existed in all parameters evaluated. Most calves (63.9%) were born in the months of February, March, and April. Overall, 16.7% of heifers and 2.7% of cows required some level of assistance in calving. Heifers and cows were checked an average of only 3.6 and 2.5 times per 24 h period during the calving season. Producers allowed heifers to labor for an average of 2.8h prior to lending assistance in calving while cows were allowed an average of 3.5h before providing assistance. In addition, only 39.6% of calvings took place in specialized calving areas presumably to allow increased observation frequency, timely intervention and protection from the elements. Collectively, these management practices illustrate that opportunities exist to improve calf survivability and increase reproductive efficiency in many cow herds.

PMID:
15036990
DOI:
10.1016/S0093-691X(03)00145-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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