Reproduction and Genetics


by Dr. Dan Kniffen

By Dr. John Comerford


This article will highlight some of the “numbers” to be considered to be both reproductively efficient and profitable.

Evidence suggests that the addition of limited fat supplements to the diet of beef cows prior to breeding will enhance reproduction.

Birth weight of beef calves may be one of the single most important factors in profitability of the beef herd. Birth weight accounts for over 70% of the variability in calf survival to weaning, yet many producers do not manage birth weight in their cows. There are two major ways to manage birth weight.

Early weaning calves will be an effective management tool for many breeders and will improve subsequent performance of the cow herd.

There are many advantages to green grass calving when compared to late winter early spring calving.

After baling hay last summer, fighting mud and snow to feed the cows, and paying all the bills for the year, a dead calf can be a frustrating, and costly, result. Preparation and timely action can help prevent some dead calves, and now is the time to get prepared.

Weaning calves can be a traumatic event for calves, but if done correctly, can be a lucrative management tool.

Here are a few of the important things to have handy for a successful calving season.

The key to successful management in a cow herd is being able to plan health, feeding, and marketing programs that will be effective and efficient.

This article discusses the decision-making process in buying a bull.

Crossbreeding is a good idea because heterosis is free money.

There is significant information available to show that cattle with a bad disposition will influence economically important production traits.

A costly, but extremely important, feature of the cow-calf herd is the selection and development of replacement heifers.

There is always a lot of satisfaction in selecting the heifers that will enter the herd. After all, it is the part of the culmination of a breeding program. For many small breeders, though, there are some justifiable reasons to get out of the heifer-raising business.

An AI program is needed to remain competitive for the sale of breeding stock and to improve traits of economic importance in these herds.


This video will give helpful information for producers to use as they fine tune their heat detection skills.