Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It took a “Push,” but I’m sold!

By Brad Johnson, Genex

"I am confident Push works, and it
helped these two calves get up
and going" - Brad Johnson
My wife, Lindsay, and I have a small herd of Angus and Red Angus cows outside of Shawano, Wisconsin. Lindsay works in CRI Public Relations, and I am part of the Genex Beef Genetics division. Earlier this year, Lindsay brought home two tubes of Push™, a new protein and energy paste for calves that Genex is marketing within the U.S. Her mission was to get a photo of me giving a tube of Push to one of our calves for the upcoming advertising campaign of this new product. “No problem,” I told her.

We calve our heifers in February and the cows primarily in March and April. February in northeast Wisconsin is cold and snowy while March and April are cold, wet and muddy; neither time is ideal, that’s for sure. In fact, Lindsay has occasionally threatened to find a more patient A.I. technician so we can calve when it’s warmer! We build a few temporary calving pens in a pole shed and rotate cows in and pairs out. It works okay as long as we’re prepared.

This year Heifer #351 decided to calve outside on a cold, windy January day, about 10 days early! Upon noticing the newborn, I quickly shuffled the new pair to the shed, snapped on a CRI Calf Coat and began my normal new calf processing routine. I remembered the tube of Push stowed in the back pocket of my coveralls, so I gave it to the calf. Either it was too cold and windy for the photographer or two young kids were occupying her time, but we didn’t get a photo taken. In short order the calf was up and nursing and showing great vigor, so I felt pretty confident I’d gotten to the new calf in good time. About two weeks later, the calf’s ear tag fell completely out as her ears continued to get shorter and shorter from the frostbite she’d suffered. It was then I finally realized how much stress the calf had experienced. One tube of Push left. 

Heifer #312 spent several nights in the calving shed because the vet called her A.I. bred, but it soon became apparent she must have been bull bred. She was the last heifer to calve. I was tiring of 2:00 a.m. checks, so I was glad to see when she started calving at 10:00 p.m. I went back inside with intentions of giving her two hours. After the two hours it was clear I’d be assisting this delivery. Long story short, #312 delivered an 87 lb. bull calf with moderate help. Not the worst pull ever but stressful for the calf nonetheless. While Junior, the newborn calf, laid there sprawled out not doing much of anything, I again thought of the Push tube in my back pocket. He looked like a calf that could use a pick-me-up. Should I text the sleeping photographer to wake up, get dressed and come out into the cold to take our picture? What would any sane husband do? I opted to let Lindsay sleep. Fast forward 10 minutes and the calf was up drinking happily, thanks in large part to that tube of Push. I consider Junior a great advertisement for Push and for using proven A.I. sires on your heifers! Zero tubes of Push left. 

The next morning I called and ordered a box of Push. While these two examples aren’t the most difficult calving experiences I’ve ever seen, I am confident Push works, and it helped these two calves get up and going. The cost of a box of Push seems worth it, especially with $2.50+/lb. feeder calf prices and record sales of seedstock cattle.

I’m going to make sure I’ve always got a tube of Push in my back pocket when calving season rolls around. Now if we could just get that darn picture taken…

Push is an energizing paste for newborn or stressed calves. It gives calves the extra Push they need


  1. Sounds like your calving season will flourish and so will your marriage!

    1. With warmer weather arriving, I have better chances of both! - Brad