You will need to learn how to feed a cow before purchasing one. The Hereford is one of the best cows for any program. The females have the ability to wean their calf within a year and become pregnant shortly thereafter. Females live and reproduce for up to 15 years. Bulls produce for up to 12 years. They have great flexibility for various types of feed. The female can calve at two years. They are adaptable to all climate conditions, and require less feed than other breeds for a great economic choice.
Herefords wean heavier calves with less feed than other breeds. Once the calf reaches three or four months of age, the mother is unable to produce enough milk to meet its nutritional needs. Rich pastureland is the ideal solution for this however, most calves are born in the spring, and it is usually in fall when they need this extra nourishment. The pastureland has begun to deteriorate. When energy and protein requirements decline, other food sources are needed to fulfill its needs. Creep feeding is one way to supplement the grass and milk nutrients for unweaned calves. If you are going to use this method, you will need a separate area for the feed. This can be accomplished by putting a gate that is too small for the cow to walk through. This occurs when the calf is between three to five months old. One of the most popular creep feed is oats with its high fiber content and they are easy for the calf to learn to eat. Many cattlemen prefer oats because there is no processing needed, are readily available. Creep feeding is often preferred by purebred breeders because calf growth is consistent within the herd. Once the calf is accustomed to eating oats an introduction of other high-energy grains, grass or grass products will be needed. Feed dealers can provide product information and guidance with creep feeding. Continued creep feeding can help maintain good health for the calf while pastureland replenishes itself; this is especially helpful during drought conditions.
You can grow an emergency pasture by planting cereal fields for grazing. They grow quickly and work well for extending fodder supplies. A second field can be planted about three weeks after the first that will be ready for grazing when the first field is grazed out. You can extend the life of your pastureland by adding grain, hay, straw, or barley chop to the field. To assure your calves get enough salt add it to the feedings.