Heifers from a heifer

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ClinchValley
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Heifers from a heifer

Postby ClinchValley » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:47 pm

Have two heifers (one to go) that calved their first. Taking decent care of their calves. Both calved past 24 months of age with no assistance needed. I have a couple questions. One is holding condition very well. The other not as good, but not terrible. I've tried keeping her up to give feed but she keeps escaping. So I gave up. Saw the bull with her yesterday. The escape artists calf is around 2 months old.

Do y'all like to pull calves off heifers early in order to let the heifers gain condition? Have been told to pull them at 8-10 weeks by someone.

I have been told they aren't going to be worth keeping as a replacement. Only because they are out of a heifer. Is there merit in this statement?

Both heifers were bred to their sire. Doubt i ever do it again. Would i be crazy to even consider keeping the calves as replacements if they look good? Everyone looks as me crazy when i think about it out loud. :dunce: I don't share this part w many though.

I've read quite a bit about this line breading thing and know its a loaded gun potentially. The Sire was from registered stock. My Papaw said his sire was a Champion Limo or something along those lines. The bull was used here for 5 years. He produced over 100 calves for my Papaw. Nothing had to be pulled and no health issues. Not sure if that means anything or not.

Would i be wiser to sell them and buy two heifers?
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Nesikep
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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby Nesikep » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:56 pm

My cows gain condition over the winter, so even if they're a little run down by fall, they can deal with it.. I would never wean a calf at 10 weeks, but others do things differently.

I have not had much luck with son-daughter matings, I find that a little too close.. Rule of thumb is to keep the blood from any parent under 50%.. So full sibling matins, cousins, etc are all OK... This year I have a mother-son heifer calf that seems to be doing really well, so I might break that rule myself once again.

I don't think you're crazy for thinking about it, but I do think you might be better off with other heifers.. Another rule of thumb I have is I don't keep replacements from first timers, and especially if you're weaning them at 10 weeks because Momma isn't holding condition.
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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby cow pollinater » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:08 pm

Without seeing the cattle I'm inclined to say leave the calves on them. If the one you're worried about is cycling you don't have a condition problem.
As for keeping them, I'd treat them like any other heifer. If they do what you want they get to stay. If not then they leave.

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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby WalnutCrest » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:11 pm

I've got a dad/daughter cow; one of my nicest and is a donor for us.

I'm w/ CP ... leave them on their mamas. Agreed w/ no condition problem if the bull is interested.
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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby holm25 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:08 pm

This heifer calf is out of a first time heifer and we plan on keeping her. Here she and the cow are almost 2 months after delivery and the cow is in good shape and is on just grass. The cow is already bred back too.
Image

Image

Just leave the calves on the cows. They'll be fine.

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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby dun » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:11 pm

cow pollinater wrote:Without seeing the cattle I'm inclined to say leave the calves on them. If the one you're worried about is cycling you don't have a condition problem.
As for keeping them, I'd treat them like any other heifer. If they do what you want they get to stay. If not then they leave.

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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby farmerjan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:23 pm

I am not sure why anyone would pull calves off a cow...be it her first calf or her 10th before the calf is 5-8 months old. A beef cows' purpose is to raise a calf, breed back and raise another calf. She should be able to do her job and raise her calf. If the one is not in quite as good a condition but is cycling and gotten in with the bull, that tells you her system is doing what it is supposed to do. How do the calves look? Are they growing? It is grass time and this is the time they will put back on body condition as well as milk and put some weight on her calf.
Some of our first calf heifers will lose some condition, and occasionally we get one or two that don't breed back when they should. But I also look at the calf and how good a job she did with it. If it is a nice calf, and she is a bit thin from putting so much into her milk then she will get put back with the bull in the next group. We calve 2 groups so in essence she would be losing 6 months. That is her free pass. If she has a breeding back problem again, she goes.
Close inbreeding/linebreeding is something to be careful of. But since you made me think this was not deliberate, and these 2 heifers look and are doing okay, I wouldn't get too worried about it. Keep them, and go about it as if they are just any other heifer. Make sure you do not breed them back to a closely related bull again. I have a couple that were bred back to their sire, not intentionally, and have kept the resulting heifer calf and just was more careful about who went with what bull so as to not get intotoo close of inbreeding.

Judge the heifers and their calves not on the bloodline so much as "are they nice heifers." I would keep one of my own before I would ever go buy any except if I were wanting to get into some purebreds or something I don't have. I do not buy heifers ever now....too many bad experiences and very few ever made it past about the 3rd calf as keepers. I will buy bred cows or cows w/ calves on occasion.
Our best animals are out of our own cows. They are acclimated to our land/climate/way of doing things. We use good purebred bulls, keep the best heifers, and try to improve. We don't get into registered or show animals, nothing wrong with it but just not my calling. But we do appreciate that there are people that do, or we wouldn't be able to buy good purebred bulls.

If the heifers stay a little thin, the calves will get weaned off at 5-7 months so they have a chance for a 4-5 rest. We usually put the bulls with them when the calves are 45-90 days old so that they are calving on an approx. 12 month interval. They seem to gain pretty quick once the calf is off them and get back their condition before they are ready to calve again.

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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby TCRanch » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:45 pm

Excellent post, Farmer Jan! We have a lot of similarities in our operations :). I have a few cows that would draw down when they were young to the point I would give them extra cubes but they also raised some of the biggest calves and seem to grow out of it. Only have one cow who still gets a little too thin but she's 10, can't weigh more than 1400 lbs and last year her calf (steer) weighed 790 when we sold him at 9 months. Bebe, who's now 7 & also 1400 lbs, raised a bull calf (kept intact) that weighed 820 lbs at 7 months when we sold him. We have never pulled a calf off earlier than 5-6 months unless the cow has a health issue & needed to be sold.

Inbreeding happens, quite often in spite of your best efforts.

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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby Nesikep » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:04 pm

Farmerjan and TCRanch, agreed... In my conditions I notice age starts to show on condition around 15 years old.. there are few I've kept beyond that age, One was an exceptional cow and with just 10 lbs of goodies a week it really made a difference for her.. I also got a lot of good heifers from her.. Her 14th calf currently has the most impressive heifer calf I've seen.

My way may be different, inbreeding happens because of my best efforts ;)
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ClinchValley
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Re: Heifers from a heifer

Postby ClinchValley » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:47 am

Good advice. And thanks.
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