A few simple management tools can help ranchers maximize the fertility of their bull and cow herds, experts advise.

For instance, removing a calf from its mother for a couple of days has been shown to be effective at helping her begin estrus, said Les Anderson, a beef cattle specialist from the University of Kentucky.

Maintaining a healthy level of body fat helps a cow maintain a cycle without complications, and ranchers should bear in mind that younger cows sometimes take longer to cycle after calving, Anderson advised.

"One thing that has a direct impact on fertility that we can do a lot about is anestrus, when the cow can't come into heat," Anderson said, noting that postpartum anestrus occurs in every species. "It's how long the cows or heifers are in anestrus that determines the fertility of cattle."

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