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Segregation Minimizes Stress In Winter Feeding Programs

One of the first steps in a successful winter cattle-feeding program is to minimize stress by separating the animals.

Different animals have different requirements, says Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Food.

Separating mature cows, first and second-calvers, replacement heifers and feeder heifers will result in benefits.

"For example, a mature cow that is pregnant only has to maintain body weight and supply enough nutrients to have the fetus grow. A first-calf heifer is still growing and is only at 85% mature body weight after its first calf is born. Her requirements are higher than a mature cow," explains Yaremcio.

"She still should be fed more grain, protein supplement and higher-quality forage. Replacement heifers are a special case. Requirements are a lot higher than those of the first-calf heifers. Again, these animals need to be separated and fed in a different pen."

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