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4400 S. Lewis Blvd. • Sioux City, IA 51106
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THE LIVESTOCK BRAND™
“A bigger problem in over-conditioned
cows is they become insulin
resistant, like a diabetic,” Havenga
warns. “That depresses fertility signifi
cantly. We need to be aware that if
we over-condition cows, we will have
reproductive ineffi ciency.”
Dr. Havenga reports that when
cattle gorge on a high-energy based
ration, they risk developing acidosis.
This occurs when the high-energy
ration is metabolized in the rumen
quickly. They can develop long-term
issues, such as liver abscesses. Acidosis
also contributes to laminitis, a painful
In the overweight bull, heat regulation
is crucial to reproductive health.
Testicles have a suspending mechanism,
which keeps them closer to or
drops them away from the body to
control the temperature. Fleshy bulls
have too much fat sitting in the neck
of the testes, which overheats sperm,
Over-conditioned animals entering
a cold winter use fat to maintain body
temperature. However, producers
have problems with overweight animals
in environments with high heat
“If we have an overfat cow in a high
heat index, it is common to see early
losses of embryos,” Havenga warns.
“Her antioxidant system is overwhelmed,
and she resorbs that embryo.
Early embryonic death is a big issue for
us, especially in normal high heat environments.
Fat cattle don’t stay bred.”
Sawyer aims for a BCS of six
for his bulls, and prefers his
cows and replacement heifers
have a BCS of fi ve.
FOCUS MARKETING GROUP
JUNE / JULY 2020 I WORKING RANCH I 41