Southern Plains Bison Pointers June 2018

It’s Time to get down to the business of breeding’em up.

It’s easy to become complacent about the breeding season when grass is plenty and feeding chores are few. That being said, extra nutrition during the summer and fall can = higher conception rates and more calves next April/May.  The southern plains can also contain the reality of waning available nutrition from the grasses at the exact time the females need to be ‘on the gain’ to catalyze estrus.

Caution: if you’re not calved out yet, be careful with excessive nutrition going to females in the third trimester of pregnancy! The calf (can) become too large, and ‘excess’ body score on the females is just as negative as being too thin.

Personally, I take the female fitness-for-breeding program in stages that occur during specific times of the year. #1; I don’t feed or supplement energy or much of anything except mineral as they approach calving-season, or while they’re getting through it. #2; going into the breeding season I check the Parasitology box and find out what’s going on ‘in there’. #3; then I ‘know’ the parasitism of the herd, including what specific type of parasites I am dealing with. Next, field treat the herd as (or if) necessary with an approach proven to be efficacious. #4; provide extra nutrition to the herd throughout the breeding season which may include rotation to a better pasture, free choice energy blocks, range-cubes and/or anything that upgrades the nutritional regime of the females.

Remember: all de-wormers (do not) work on all internal parasites in our bison – and all herds (do not) have the same internal parasites. Do your science, or contact:  for the WBA Bison Review, winter 2018 issue for more information about southern plains bison parasitism.