Heifers and their Nutritional Needs

If resources permit, it’s best to use the Sweet Pro tubs all year around. Using SweetPro with efforts to tighten-up calving season and extend the time calves are nursing: SweetPro’s performance in these very areas are strong points for the product line. Informally we refer to the SweetPro 16 block as the “Heifer Block” because of its effectiveness helping the heifer continue her own growth and maturity while nursing a calf and getting pregnant with a second calf.

This is the toughest nutritional scenario for a beef herd. A key tool is a program that allows the heifer to get maximum energy value from non-starch substrates. When you maximize the value of forage, you minimize the need for extra grain (starch) as an energy supplement. Grain is great for putting finish on cattle but not frame. And the heifer is still growing her own frame at this time.

In SweetPro, there’s virtually no starch or sugar and minimal NSC (non-structural carbohydrate). Instead, the focus is on complex (structural) carbohydrate and high by-pass protein value in the distillers grain carrier. We then emphasize a top quality vitamin and mineral package with the organic complexed (chelated) trace minerals to maximize bioavailability.

As a result, your cattle not only get the extra benefit of the supplement’s ingredients, but they also get more out of the rest of their feed. When heifers get better feed-efficiency on forage they do better and their calves are stronger. Fertility improves because her own needs are being met and nature says she’s o.k. to have another calf and not wait extra heat cycles to replenish body stores.

For introduction I would strongly recommend getting SweetPro 16 — even consider half of the initial order as Kaf Kandi for these heifers, if comfortable with a little higher intake. It will pay dividends as a flushing program to more quickly raise the heifer’s plain of nutrition and thus, increase the likelihood of conception on the first service. We recommend feeding tubs four to six weeks ahead of putting out the bulls for a fertility-enhancing flushing benefit, and then continuing another four weeks with bulls out. Then restart the tubs four to six weeks before calving and continue two weeks after.

If resources permit, it’s best to use the tubs all year around. You’ll get a heavier calf and have less pressure on the pasture. These benefits will offset the cost of year-around supplementation. But if money is tight, the times noted above are optimal.

Another very efficient time for SweetPro supplementation is just before weaning. There’s a two-fold benefit here. One, is to counter the cows being pulled down by big calves and two, cows are also at their optimum efficiency for replenishing body condition going into winter. Furthermore, the calves benefit from licking the tubs. In your case, where the intention is to skip early weaning as a tool for better heifer recovery, and instead leave the calves to nurse until October, the SweetPro tubs will be a great help in allowing the heifers to cope better with the nutritional challenges they’ll face. The heifers / cows will give more milk and calves also lick the tubs for their own “double” benefit.

100 day trial: 30 days before calving & 10 after / 30 days before breeding / 30 days before weaning

150 day trial: 40 days before calving & 10 after / 40 days before breeding / 40 days before weaning and then leave Kaf Kandi with the weaned calves for 20 days.

For Best Results and Calves Averaging 60 lbs Heavier at Weaning – use SweetPro Tubs Year- around.