As cows get closer to calving, nutritional requirements change. South Dakota State University Extension cow/calf specialist Olivia Amundson says that’s why nutrition should be a top priority prior to calving. It’s easier to stay ahead of the game than play catch up. “During the last trimester, that calf is doing some significant growth. Therefore, that cow needs to keep weight on and maintain a body condition score of five,” says Amundson. “Something else to point out is just the fetus alone adds about 100 pounds to that cow.” Once a calf hits the ground, ranchers should check a couple things. Colostrum can be frozen or commercially available. Calves need approximately 2 quarts within four hours of birth and one gallon within 12 hours. Listen to the full RRFN story and get more tips here.