by: Stephen Blezinger
For the cow-calf operation, the main goal is for each breeding female to produce a healthy calve once per year. That said, in the typical cow-calf operation, calving is, without a doubt one of the most important periods of the entire production year. While breeding must certainly occur for calving to take place, the delivery of a healthy calf is an equally important event. Without either, there is no calf to be sold for revenues to be generated.
I always find it remarkable when producers tell me they really do not have a “plan” for managing the cows and subsequent calves during this point in time. In reality, many producers do not have a program for “calving management,” and simply hope for the best during the periods when calves are scheduled to be born. For many producers who breed and calve year-round (not uncommon), their calving management program is an on-going process and requires constant attention. In these situations it is difficult to focus on the process and it becomes easy for the producer to be caught off-guard.