The mercury’s rapidly falling in much of the U.S., a time when ranchers assess their winter feedstocks and make any adjustments to ensure they’ve got enough quality and supply to sustain their herds through the winter. Every animal in a beef herd has higher energy requirements when temperatures fall, but some more than others. For example, newly weaned calves and their mother cows may require even more energy from their feed because of the physical strain of the process they’ve just completed. Pregnant cows may not necessarily have greater nutritional requirements yet; if not, they will later on in the winter. Different animals’ nutritional requirements call for attention to maintining the right balance of lower-quality dry hay, for example, and supplemental protein. See more on balancing beef rations heading into winter.