Bartona Bulletin Spring 2023

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Spring 2023

Barzona Bulletin

Adaptable • Sustainable • Profitable

A Publication of the Barzona Breeders Association of America

Management to Optimize Reproductive Success in First-Calf Heifers By Travis Mulliniks, Ph.D., Range Nutritionist and Extension Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

R eproductive failure is a primary limitation to production efficiency, which represents the single-most important factor reducing net calf crop. One of the most – if not the most – common reproductive challenge that beef producers face is getting first-calf heifers rebred. In most opera tions, pregnancy rates of either the 2- or 3-year-old cows are the lowest in the herd. This is a common problem because young cows are lactating for the first or second time, are still growing and haven’t reached mature weight and are often challenged with the inability to consume enough energy to meet the needs for body maintenance, lactation and growth. Economically, the 2-year-old cow is generally the most ex pensive/valuable animal on the ranch because of the dollars

invested in her and because she has not yet returned any in come to the operation. Breakeven period to pay off heifer de velopment costs has shown to take from 3 to 4 years of age in low-input, low-cost-of-production systems, to 9 to 10 years of age in high-cost, high-investment systems before their invest ment cost is covered. However, if a first-calf heifer or 3-year-old cow does not wean a calf or fails to become pregnant, the herd’s long-term profitability will decrease. Therefore, improper man agement of young 2- and 3-year-old cows could be costly for producers. With that in mind, producers can easily justify addi tional expenses to ensure that young cows become pregnant rather than have to develop another replacement heifer. Some management decisions that may help increase re breeding efficiency of young cows include managing and mon itoring body condition score and developing a plan to shorten the postpartum interval in their first-calf heifers. The period from calving until the cow conceives is the most critical period in a cow’s production cycle and minimizing this time period is important for several reasons. A shortened postpartum inter val prior to breeding will result in increased conception rates, which is largely due to cows having more chances of getting pregnant during a defined breeding season. Early conception results in two additional benefits – calving earlier the following year, which allows for more opportunities to get pregnant and increases longevity in the herd, and larger calves at weaning. Managing the Postpartum Interval Extended postpartum anestrus in young range cows are ma jor impediments to biological and economic efficiency in range cow herds. To maintain a yearling calving interval, recovery from calving and rebreeding should occur within 80 to 85 days post partum. The early postpartum period has the greatest nutrient demands a cow will experience during the entire production cycle. Nutrient requirements will increase after calving until peak lactation, which generally occurs around 60 days post partum. Adequate nutrition in the form of energy and protein is important for uterine involution and is critical for colostrum

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From Our Association Secretary

President’s Message

By Matthew Heinz, Golden Hz Farms, BBAA President

. By Alecia Heinz, Golden Hz Farms, BBAA Secretary T he Barzona Breeders Association of America (BBAA) Annual Meeting dates are set! Mark your calendars for Sept. 15-17, but don’t make any travel plans just yet be cause we aren’t sure which ranch will be hosting. Mon tana and Arizona are the two possible locations; we will know in May which ranch will be hosting us. Cattle inventories across the nation are low, and prices are strong. With any luck from Mother Nature, we will all get out of the drought and will be ready to purchase bulls and females to restock greener pastures. If you are looking to buy or sell, please let me know so I can get the word out to those who are also looking. Happy calving and follow us for BBAA Annual Meeting up dates on Facebook and our website, . BB SAVE THE DATE! for the Barzona Breeders Association of America Annual Meeting

H appy spring to everyone! I hope your grass is green and your family is healthy. I would like to take this time to introduce you to our feed efficiency test coming in late 2023, early 2024. Our Feed Test Committee has final ized the rules and regulations for this test, and we would like to invite all of you to send at least one animal to the feedlot in Hereford, Texas! Entry forms and rules are posted on our web site at pdf . Our Feed Test Committee has finalized the rules and regulations for this test, and we would like to invite all of you to send at least one animal to the feedlot in Hereford, Texas! If you would please fill those out, our secretary can help or ganize trucking to benefit you, schedule pens and make sure you receive the results when the data is compiled. Your calves can be sent to the feedlot at any time, and if you do not wish to retain ownership of them, the feedlot is willing to purchase the calves from you! Win-win, right? Regardless of when your calves arrive at the feedlot, the feed efficiency test will most likely occur in October or January. Animals will be sorted into pens of steers and heifers, then according to age and size if we have enough animals to do so. Keep in mind there are requirements for vaccinations, so pay attention to those dates and plan accordingly – especially if this will not follow your usual protocols. We truly appreciate your participation because, as with any study, the more data you collect, the more accurate your results are. Calves are NOT re quired to be registered, although performance-only entry in the registration system would be handy. If you do not have cattle in the registry system, please provide purebred or crossbred nota tions on your entry forms. We are hoping that the association and producers alike will be able to gain from this test and be able to use the data and results in marketing our cattle. We have always known that Bar zona is a feed-efficient breed, so let’s get it in writing! BB

SEPT. 15-17 More information to come. Golden Hz Farms Barzona: The breed for busy people These cows take care of themselves!

Breeding Stock Available

Matt & Alecia Heinz 2432 250th St Greenfield, IA 50849 (641) 745-9170

Alvin & Karen Havens 2429 Orange Ave. Greenfield, IA 50849


production and meeting the nutrient needs to support milk pro duction. This can be a challenge in some environments due to limited nutrients in semi-arid and arid environments. If require ments are not being met, the postpartum interval can increase, causing a delay in conception date and subsequent delay in calving. On average, mature cows will have a postpartum interval of 45 to 70 days, while first-calf heifers are more challenged to re cover from calving and begin cycling again with a postpartum interval of 70 to 120 days. This prolonged anestrus period or postpartum interval is why pregnancy rates in young cows are often the lowest in the cow herd, which is tied to their inabili ty to consume enough energy for maintenance, lactation and growth. Supplementation Strategies Strategically fed protein supplementation has shown to im prove fertility under certain conditions, including thin body condition cows. One thing to remember is that not all protein is created equal for beef cows due to rumen fermentation. Rumen degradable protein supplements like alfalfa hay or cottonseed meal help increase forage intake and digestibility of low-quali ty forages; however, once rumen microbes’ need for protein is met, rumen undegradable protein like dried distillers grains can have a larger impact on cow performance. Studies have shown that protein sources high in rumen undegradable protein and low in rumen degradable protein can increase pregnancy rates and decrease the postpartum interval in young beef cows. In addition to protein type, some feed additives have been used to effectively shorten the postpartum interval of young Management to Optimize Reproductive Success in First-Calf Heifers Continued from page 1

Raising Quality Barzona Cattle for 46 Years. Bulls & Females Available 2-Year-Old Bulls Available Now F & F Cattle Company Estrus synchronization has the potential to shorten the post partum interval and increase calf weaning weights and unifor mity. Utilizing a controlled intravaginal drug release (CIDR) or a slow-release progesterone device can be used to “jump start” the cycles of late-calving cows. Research has shown that insert ing the CIDR no sooner than 20 days after calving can initiate cycling earlier than it would have naturally. For instance, estrus synchronization at 21 days postpartum in late-calving cows has been shown to shift the subsequent calving date up by 28 days. Even if artificial insemination is not being utilized, estrus syn chronization can help shorten the postpartum interval of young cows in the breeding season. In summary, the following methods may help improve re breeding performance of young beef cows: • Breed yearling heifers two weeks or longer prior to the rest of the herd. • Shorten the breeding season length of yearling heifers to have a tighter calving window. • Focus on getting young cows gaining body weight prior to and throughout the breeding season. • Use strategic supplements that are high in rumen undegrad able protein sources. • Use feed additives that increase post-ruminal glucose supply. • Use estrus synchronization even with natural service. BB beef cows. Ionophores such as Bovatec or Rumensin have been shown to shorten the postpartum interval, on average, by 18 days across several different studies with cows and first-calf heifers. NutroCal 100 (Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health), a product that increases glucose availability to ruminants, fed in protein cubes at low amounts (40 grams per day) during early lactation has shortened the postpartum interval of young range beef cows by seven days and increased overall pregnancy rates. Reproductive Strategies

Weichman Feedyard, L.P. We have more than 30 years’ experience finishing cattle and more than 10 years’ experience finishing Barzona cattle. We offer a value-based marketing systemwith a history of premiums for Barzona cattle. Give us a call (620) 872-2945 Office (620) 874-5236 Cell

Mike & Pat Fitzgerald 130 Fitzgerald Lane, Mosquero, NM 87733 (575) 673-2346

Hampton Cattle Company Breeding Purebred Barzona since 1973 Fertile Range Cattle Steve Hampton P.O. Box 134 • Kirkland, AZ 86332 (928) 442-3438

4030 Highway 83 North Scott City, KS 67671


Barzona Breeders Association of America P.O. Box 154 Greenfield, IA 50849


If you’d prefer to receive the Barzona Bulletin by email,

please contact Alecia Heinz at

(641) 745-9170 or barzonabreeders@


Selling bulls private treaty. Yearling bulls available now.


Semen available on a number of older bulls. Females available periodically private treaty. Foster, OK 73434 (217) 649-5616 Bard Cattle Co. Nancy Bard Nunn 18800 E. County Road 1603

Raymond Boykin, Jr. (334) 430-0563 • 8727 Lydia Lane • Montgomery, AL 36117


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