Transport cows/heifers after AI

Producer Question from 2012

Q.  We AI our cow herd in late April. What do you think of moving them to pasture immediately after breeding and supplement feeding hay on pasture? (April 27, 2012)

We are concerned about changing feed and moving the cows shortly after breeding but are going to run out of hay if we have to feed them until the middle of May. We have pasture with early cool season grasses such as cheat grass and needle and thread that would benefit from early grazing to reduce their competition with the more desirable warm season grasses that will come later.

A.  The data suggests that if you are going to transport cows/heifers after AI, do it early, day 1 to 4 post-AI, or later, after day 35 post-AI.

When you transport, keep stress, heat stress and working stress, to a minimum.

I assume that the cows will be on mostly a forage diet, high quality hay that may contain a little corn or silage. The more forage that there is in the diet, the better when you are getting ready to turn cows out on pasture because the rumen is ready for the grass diet.

Dr. Rick Rasby Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science
Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE