Birthweights,winter 2011-2012

Help Support CattleToday:

Workinonit Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
7,151
Reaction score
0
Location
Ctrl Virginia
Is it just my cows or are other folks seeing similar? So far, winter 2011-2012 the birth weights of my calves is below what they usually are by 5-10LBs. Calves are just as thrifty, spunky and hardy as usual, just smaller. Same bull for the last 3 years. Everyone that's calved so far has been right on schedule (w/in a few days either way). Same mineral for this time of year.

I'm thinking perhaps its because we've had such a mild winter. I mean really mild. Kind of along the lines of dun's thread about tight bags, mine have also not been bagging-up like usual.

Just wondering if anyone else has noticed a difference in their birthweights.

Katherine
 

whitecow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
209
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
We have seen a difference in birthweights this year compared to last year, but just the opposite of your observation. Our birthweights have been about 8-10 lbs heavier than last year with the exact same matings. My theory is that these calves were conceived and began gestation during our excessive draught when there was no grass to eat and cows were thin & stressed. I theorize that because of the lack of available nutrients, the cow/placenta overdeveloped vasculature and nutrient transport capabilities. When our heavily fertilized and rained on winter pasture kicked in there was a massive increase in nutrient availability in a uterine/placental environment that had already overcompensated. Thus, heavier calves.

I have a lot of anecdotal evidence of this same phenomenom from my day job in bovine reproduction.
 
OP
W

Workinonit Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
7,151
Reaction score
0
Location
Ctrl Virginia
whitecow":1ft9slk1 said:
When our heavily fertilized and rained on winter pasture kicked in there was a massive increase in nutrient availability in a uterine/placental environment that had already overcompensated. Thus, heavier calves.

I am a lot of anecdotal evidence of this same phenomenom from my day job in bovine reproduction.

Sounds plausible to me. One of the drought years we had, I had put out tubs along with the hay beginning in mid fall. I don't usually use tubs but that year I felt it best to supplement the not-so-good-quality hay and lack of grass. That winter we had some pretty heavy calves, which at that time I chalked it up to the wicked cold (for here) weather combined with the tub supplementation.

But as you say, purely anectdotal.

Katherine
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,610
Reaction score
158
Location
Heart of Texas
whitecow":2fkadjp3 said:
We have seen a difference in birthweights this year compared to last year, but just the opposite of your observation. Our birthweights have been about 8-10 lbs heavier than last year with the exact same matings. My theory is that these calves were conceived and began gestation during our excessive draught when there was no grass to eat and cows were thin & stressed. I theorize that because of the lack of available nutrients, the cow/placenta overdeveloped vasculature and nutrient transport capabilities. When our heavily fertilized and rained on winter pasture kicked in there was a massive increase in nutrient availability in a uterine/placental environment that had already overcompensated. Thus, heavier calves.

I have a lot of anecdotal evidence of this same phenomenom from my day job in bovine reproduction.
In plain English you're saying cow and calf dam near starved all summer and then grew rapidly due to overconsumption of protein during last trimester.
 

angusdave63

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
286
Reaction score
0
the mild winter means less blood flo in the area of the calf = smaller calf at least my first 2 have been like yours 5 to 10 pounds lighter i live in indiana and so far we have not had a real winter mostly freezing temps or above but lots of rain.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,283
Reaction score
532
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
I'll be able to tell you folks more in 2 weeks or so, our BW's are always pretty high, a 75 lb calf being about as light as we ever see, and a couple cows that chronically make 140 lb steers, but most steers calves are around 90-110, most heifers around 80-95. BW's have suddenly increased about 4 years ago, and we had been using the same bull for the previous 4 years, then switched 3 years ago to a GV bull and there was no change, despite that he wasn't a heavy BW bull. I can't call our winters particularly harsh when I compare with what prairie winters are like, we had a week of -20ish Celsius, but most of it was a bit below freezing
 

fitz

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
0
Location
S.W. Virginia
Workinonit Farm":36mjmmhm said:
Is it just my cows or are other folks seeing similar? So far, winter 2011-2012 the birth weights of my calves is below what they usually are by 5-10LBs. Calves are just as thrifty, spunky and hardy as usual, just smaller. Same bull for the last 3 years. Everyone that's calved so far has been right on schedule (w/in a few days either way). Same mineral for this time of year.

I'm thinking perhaps its because we've had such a mild winter. I mean really mild. Kind of along the lines of dun's thread about tight bags, mine have also not been bagging-up like usual.



Just wondering if anyone else has noticed a difference in their birthweights.

Katherine

Could be weather related. Bull went with this group 05/23/11. First calf 02/17, second one today. Wasn't expecting either one. Didn't weigh them but they look like little poodles. Glad they're healthy but they are small.

fitz
 

Latest posts

Top