The Benefits of Calving on Grass in Pasture

From our friends in Alberta Agriculture in Canada, here's a 5-minute video of ranchers describing why they prefer May calving on grass. Jess Hudson of Hudson Ranch in Bashaw, Alberta describes it like this: "The grass system for me, with good weather, works really well. The cows will spread all out, have their calf, mother it, lick it and get it to drink and do it the way nature intended it. When I bunch them all together, that's when they get problems." He uses bale feeding partly for nutrition, but also as a management tool. "Cattle line up to feed and can catch, tag and doctor the calves." He does it every other day because he can't catch calves after their 4 or 5 days old. While he says he says calving on grass costs him revenue that he might have gotten from using that land for a crop or hay, he's saving a lot of money on drugs and disease that he would have spent with confinement calving. "What we give up in an economic sense we gain back in a different part of the farm - peace of mind and animal welfare pay back in a non-dollar sense," Jay says. Iain Aitkin, of Medicine River Luings in Rimbey, Alberta seconds the health benefits of May calving on grass. "Since we moved to this system of calving on grass this time of year, the majority of our problems disappeared. It really is an incredible transformation. The same cows moved to this environment vs winter calving the issues really go away." Other ranchers note that spreading the cows out reduces problems wit

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