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Produce your college technical note for : Condition Scoring and its use/ importance in autumn and spring calving suckler cows - Article Example

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Condition Scoring and Its Use/ Importance in Autumn and Spring Calving Suckler Cows Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Condition scoring is one of the most underutilized means of assuring health cattle and more so suckler cows. One of the biggest challenges in use of condition scoring is the fact that most people even those in farming do not know how to successfully employ the technique…
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Produce your college technical note for : Condition Scoring and its use/ importance in autumn and spring calving suckler cows
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Produce your college technical note for : Condition Scoring and its use/ importance in autumn and spring calving suckler cows

Download file to see previous pages... This is quite risky given the changing seasons and different food demands. In producing this technical note we aim at developing a technical note that can guide the application of condition scoring and the meaning of the resultant scores. Defining condition scoring Condition scoring is a procedure employed in determining the body condition of livestock on a regular basis. Moran (****) defines condition scoring as the visual appraisal of the quantity of muscle and fat casing the bones of the cattle (.p.209). This can be done independently of live weight; pregnancy and gut fill and entails a look at specific parts of the cow’s body (Moran,.p.210). Body scoring technique can be an informative means that contributes extensively to the practice of good husbandry and proper management of beef cows (EBLEX). This helps in ensuring that the cow is in the proper condition throughout the annual cycle and that proper dietary adjustments are made in case of any deficiencies. Proper maintenance of suckler cows Suckler cows adjust their fat levels based on the availability of feed. In cases where feed is plentiful they lay down fat and use it up when the food supply does not meet up with the necessary nutritional demands. Broadly, overfeeding during the last months of pregnancy leads to weight build up of the unborn calf a factor that may bring about complexities during calving. Notably, this heavy feeding does not improve the body condition of the cow (Phillips, 2008.p.37). It should also be clear that the idea is not to under feed as low feeding at this time can weigh negatively on the cow’s reproductive efficiency. Through condition scoring a farmer is able to determine a proper feeding regime based on the condition of the cow (NADIS). This is in knowledge of the fact that over feeding or underfeeding will have a downside effect on the cow. As a techniques, condition scoring merges three factors, these are: Good welfare, by ensuring good welfare the farmer is able to address calving difficulties and curtail calf loss. Good husbandry, this addresses the dietary requirements of a cow. It seeks to introduce the right dietary combinations as determined by the needs of the cow and calf. Good performance, this dwells on the general health of the cow and calf and highlights both good welfare and good husbandry which inform proper development of the cow and the calf. The significance of condition score The ideal behind condition scoring is achieving a balance between economic feeding, good production and good welfare. Overfeeding which leads to over fatness together with use of huge sires such as Belgian Blue will heighten the risk of difficult calving. The problem can be amalgamated or appear more prominent under lowland conditions (Raquel, 2010.p.151). However, a huge number of suckler cows are reared on the hills where the greatest concern is being too thin not being too fat. Such welfare concern is particularly pronounced among Continental cross cows during the first two lactations (EBLEX). These cows are still developing and require a range of nutrients to allow for strong muscle and bone formation. Besides, these relatively younger animals are not as competitive as the older cows in regard to winter feeding. Pregnant heifers require greater attention as their food needs are stretched by individual demands as well as the demands raised by the unborn calf. If these demands ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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