Good topic -- one I take very seriously.
One thing I always strive for is getting the cows in body score 6 or even a tad better by the time they are 6 months pregnant, or the end of 2nd trimester. If you have to play catch up toward the end of gestation, you are not going to get them there without making a HUGE baby in the process! They tend to hold condition better if they are in really good shape earlier -- take less feed to maintain them then it ever would to bring them UP at that point.
Also, as Kanshow says, thier mineral program is first rate all the time. I do one thing different here -- we feed Vita-Ferm to all the livestock -- and switch back and forth thru the seasons between thier Cow-Calf 5 and Concept-AId depending on where they are in reproduction. I go with the Concept-Aid product starting about 30 days prior to calving, and also bring them up to current state on SCour Gaurd 3-K-C and Vision 7 clostridium then too. On the hfrs, they need a double dose 30 days apart of the Scour Gaurd.
Once the cows calve -- they often times clean even before they get the calf dry, it is amazing the difference that makes. We leave them on Concept-Aid version until they are bred and have gone by thier heats. I then switch them over to Cow Calf 5 - which is slight more palatable to the calves than the stronger Concept-Aid. Feed your salt free choice seperately -- lots of people mix salt and mineral together -- and some of these minerals have 20%or higher salt already. Concept-Aid issalt free -- Cow Calf 5 is 20%. There are some Purina minerals with 28% salt -- which turn to red bricks if it ever gets wet! hehehehe -- any one ever been THERE before? You can have Vita-Ferm covered in water -- drain it -- and when it dries it goes right back to powder -- although I don't think it is the best for the product -- it won't get hard like the others.
I also NEVER ever feed any sort of energy late in gestation -- this will almost every time go straight to the calf -- not a good thing! That is one time when Big is NOT better -- hehehe!
Well enough for now -- sorry so long, I have alot fo trouble writting anything SHORT!!!