Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2015

What’s going on out there?

While I wish there were management boxes that could be checked that result in herd-health and production assurances, it just doesn’t work that way when you’re in charge of habitats and animals. August and September are the months that require of us the ability to keep an eye on ‘what’s going on out there’, where-the-buffalo-roam.

Late summer in the southern plains can vary widely depending on the eco-region or biome that you’re managing. Some habitats have native grasses that are now becoming less selectable and nutritious, while other habitats have improved pastures or exotic grasses that need different management for selectability and harvest efficiency. Personally; I am always observing my habitat and reacting to its behavior. Whereas the bison are produced by the habitat, bison management is all about the habitat. Now is the time to be thinking around the corner to calving-season and how your [their] habitat is impacting the calf-crop.

One management technique that can help with calf-crop percentages, is feeding during the breeding season. Other management techniques include worming prior to breeding season, saving pastures with the best [late-season] grasses and browse and, with the exception of feeding, not interrupting the performance of family-group behaviors. The time of year is also a trigger, but if during the breeding season the nutrition is low, the natural response of bison to that, is to produce less.

If you are late employing or addressing any of these proven bison-management techniques, the good news is that we’re still in the heart of breeding season in the South. You still have time to successfully enhance herd health and production.