Building a herd in 1 day.

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TheLazyM

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I believe you would come closer to building Rome in a day than a herd of cattle.
My bull was born in june of 06. So i decided to use all of the heifers born off that group of pregante cows. Out of 37 cows I ended up with 18 healthy heifers 9 bulls 5 deaths at births and 5 I dont know if the miscarried or had still borns I never found, or was'nt preganet. At weinning I sold thte cows. I had real high hopes. Out of my 18 heifers 3 where lost to coyotes. 4 died giving birth. Lost their calves as well. 3 never conceived. I had to sell my bull yesterday cas he broke hisss... well you know.
I have 5 calves on the ground and 3 anytime now. I have a real close eye on them.
I dont know if my bull coveredwith my cows that calved last summer when I put him with them in november. I put everything together so it would be easier on me to feed them instead of putting out 2 different feeders.
Now I have 10 cows and no bull. I'll have to sell the calves to get a bull. Just unlucky that cattle is down. I bet it was easier building Rome.
 

Brandonm22

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If you have coyotes so fierce that they can take down yearling heifers, I would hire the best predator hunter you can find. You can't operate under those circumstances.
 

djinwa

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Seems to me you need more than luck to build a herd. Like a calving ease bull for heifers, breeding at the right age, watching them closely at calving, assisting promptly as needed, etc.

Brandonm22 mentioned the coyotes. Are you sure they were taken down by coyotes, or just eaten by them after they died?
 

ddg1263

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I am sorry you are having trouble building a herd, if it is any consolidation I am in the same boat. I am just astounded at how cheap calves are selling for. There is no way to make money in the cattle business from a cow calf operation if all costs are included. People want 65 dollars a bale for hay. Lets say you feed your cow just 4 bales all year, that is 260 bucks. Now toss in some added protein and minerals that they have to have and you do not even break even with what the calves sell for at the sale barn. This does not include the vaccinations and worming, or fence repairs, or herbicide, or land cost, or tractor costs, or losses to coyotes, or the bull costs with 100% pregnancy rate! Also I might add that there is no vet bill for the year or cattle handling equipment needed, fuel cost, or any payment for you or your helpers time when working cattle, and you have to walk to and from your pastures to feed because you can not count your truck expense! I am here to tell you the cattle business is hard! Maybe we can make a few phone calls to capital hill to get our tax rates cut, oh wait a second we do not need a rate cut because we do not make money to begin with! :banana: :banana: :banana:
 

ddg1263

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I just wanted to add that there is a reason why 2.6 million cows were lost from the USA cattle population last month. It is because people can not fund their cattle operations indefinably. I only see things getting worse before it gets better, but I am going to hang in their for at least 5 years!
 

Brandonm22

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ddg1263":bk2ccr2e said:
Maybe we can make a few phone calls to capital hill to get our tax rates cut, oh wait a second we do not need a rate cut because we do not make money to begin with! :banana: :banana: :banana:

Call Tim Geitner we are going to need bail out money. I think $10 billion will hold us over to April then we might need to come back for more. Oh but we will have to limit our executive pay to $500,000, put the corporate jets for sale, and we can't go to Vegas.
 

Alberta farmer

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While I agree the cow/calf business is pretty tough right now, we also should realize it will turn around?
When times are tough you need to sharpen that pencil and figure out ways to lower input costs and maximize production within that cost structure. Losing ten calves out of 37 cows is not pretty bad and it is not sustainable? The later deaths are not sustainable.
Perhaps you need to take a hard look at how you are managing your cattle, or you will not be in the cattle business very long.
 
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TheLazyM

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All I can really say about the 3 calves lost to the coyotes is they where health calves. I see my cattle every day. Theres nothing in my patures to wound them. Its a case I saw them healthy the next day they was'nt at the feeder and I went looking for them. I found a carcusses being at off. No this was'nt 3 calves killed at the same time. Where I'm at there is nothing around me but chicken houses and cattle 360 degs. The coyotes are very bad around here. I hunt and trap them. Theres more than 1 pack and I dont think we'll ever make a dent in the population.
I've been messing w/ cattle for around 10 years now, and it has never gotting boring. I guess its what I love about it, besides the animals them selves. I have grown every year since I started physicualy and mentualy. I'm not going to quit messing with cows.
This post came around cause of a statement that said to me at the salebarn. A guy asked me how many cows did I have and what kind of bull. I told him how I worked. I bought preg. cows sold everything off every year and bought back. He told me that was to much work I needed to just build a herd. I made the comment "1 day", and he said yea it could be done in 1 day. You just put out some cows and a bull. There you have a herd. I disagree but I kept my peace, but I decided it Was time for me to expand. I think what he described is a group, untell they start to calving bloodlines then its a herd. I dont call animals bought and threw together a herd.
I see big strides in what I've done. I started w/ 6 acres no fence no trailer no barn. I just wanted a few calves soooo, i built a fence on 5 1/2 acres and a barn. Then I built a "calve trailer out of a 5x8 utilty trailer and some cattle panels. Man I was set soooo I thought. The next year I bought the 5 acres beside me and fenced it. I thought that was all I'd need. Wrong. 3 years later I leased 85 acres and the year after I bought a new house and 25 acres. On the 25 acres the house only sets on 2 acres so I have a 23 pasture. I still have everything I even have the 85 acre lease. So i'm getting somewhere slowly, but yea I'm moving forward. No I dont still use the make shift trailer. The trailer I have is'nt much better, but it is a cattle trailer. Only thing I can good about it is it has a strong, and health floor.
I dont think my results are to awful for the 1st time around. When I look at we survived the worst drought in Alabama in over 100 years, high hay and fuel prices. I dont want to blame my bull for the problems at birth cause is was only 3 and I only used heifers. So I could have been their problems w/ the the first time it just turned out to be fatal. 2 of those was I think my fault. I thought I had time and left and got back it was to late. ! was turned around backwards and I tried my best everything happened to fast.
The next was backwards I got some help we pulled that calve fine and they are doing well. I had 2 more backwards that I pulled since their doing good also. It does'nt matter if it was my bull's fault cause he is gone now, and as soon as I post this I going to a farm to look at a bull to buy.
 

TC Cattle

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I'm going to take a stab at a response, it's a little tough to piece together the information.

First, let me just repeat this a few times: foundation, foundation, foundation. Your end result is a direct correlation to your starting point.

I'd say there's a problem with your cow/bull ratio. 1 bull isn't going to do it for 37 cows. The MOST it should be - for proper breeding management - is 1:25. We use 1:20 here. I know what you're going to say - I can't afford any more bulls. Yes, you can. Instead of putting the money into purchasing the cows, this should have been factored in. It's a lot easier to increase your cow herd when you know every cow you have will be bred and produce a calf for sale. If you can't purchase another bull right now, then ask around. You said you live around cattle? Ask your neighbors if you could lease a bull from them. Order semen and do it AI. There are a lot of options out there. You just have to be willing to do the research and not throw your hands up even when it seems impossible.

With that many cows having calving issues, you've got to find out the reason why. If they're having healthy calves and then a couple of days later they are dead - there's something else at work there. Call your local extension office and have them test your soil, feed, whatever. Find out why they are dying. Someone else mentioned that coyotes don't normally kill yearlings and that's true. You may have a mountain lion or something else. Keep them close. With a small spread like you've got, you should be able to see them no problem. On the other hand, coyotes or lions tend to drag their kill off. If the calf is near it's mother or where it was the last time you saw it - it's not an animal. Again, it's the foundation. Are these cows bagging up? Are they producing milk to feed these calves? Did the calf take to it?

Losing over 30% of your calf crop and 7 or 8 cows (I think this is what you said, again, tough to follow) is not acceptable. Of course you won't build a herd. How could you possibly? This isn't an easy business, but it doesn't have to be made any harder. We have enough to deal with than worrying about if the animals are going to do their natural job or not.

I'm wondering how you built your herd in the first place....did you buy bred cows and then sell the calf crop and purchase more cows? Are you holding over yearlings? Are you holding over and then breeding back after two years?

You said
You just put out some cows and a bull. There you have a herd. I disagree but I kept my peace, but I decided it Was time for me to expand. I think what he described is a group, untell they start to calving bloodlines then its a herd. I dont call animals bought and threw together a herd.

Again, hard to follow, but you should NOT be expanding when you are not producing a decent crop each year. You have got to go back if you want to move forward. There aren't "groups" of cattle. There are herds of cattle. Calving bloodlines would be a registered operation - is that what you are running? Why are you selling your cows also? Are these just your culled cows? If you are having to sell that many culled cows every year, I'd sell them all. Start over with a good base - even if it's small. Buy bred cows or pairs - you know you'll get a calf on the ground. If not, you should at least be preg-checking them at some point so you'll know what is going to be produced. If it's open, cull it. But, don't replace it until your calf crop comes in. Then, you'll know what - if anything - you have to work with in buying more.

Sometimes it's tough writing across the ether for a tone to come through correctly. I mean no disrespect. I sincerely would like to help you, if that's what you are actually looking for. If not, I totally get it - sometimes it's just nice to let it out!
 

TC Cattle

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Sorry - I missed this part....you "buy bred cows every year and then sell everything off"? A.) Why? B.) What do you need bulls for? C.) WHY?

That, my friend, is building a herd in a day. You have got to be bleeding money. Sounds like a train wreck.
 

SouthrnBlacks

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Have one of the chicken farmers start throwing their dead chickens away on the edge of your land. Any predator will eat them. Thats what we do around here, ( we also have chicken houses & Cattle).
I've never seen coyotes attack a calf around here but we have had a problem with mountain lions killing pigs and cattle. :tiphat:
If your losing that much money maybe its worth looking into getting a couple good cow dogs??????
 

cowman30

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TheLazyM":1hoz5m9t said:
I believe you would come closer to building Rome in a day than a herd of cattle.
My bull was born in june of 06. So i decided to use all of the heifers born off that group of pregante cows. Out of 37 cows I ended up with 18 healthy heifers 9 bulls 5 deaths at births and 5 I dont know if the miscarried or had still borns I never found, or was'nt preganet. At weinning I sold thte cows. I had real high hopes. Out of my 18 heifers 3 where lost to coyotes. 4 died giving birth. Lost their calves as well. 3 never conceived. I had to sell my bull yesterday cas he broke hisss... well you know.
I have 5 calves on the ground and 3 anytime now. I have a real close eye on them.
I dont know if my bull coveredwith my cows that calved last summer when I put him with them in november. I put everything together so it would be easier on me to feed them instead of putting out 2 different feeders.
Now I have 10 cows and no bull. I'll have to sell the calves to get a bull. Just unlucky that cattle is down. I bet it was easier building Rome.


Again there is no way for a bulls penis to break. Instead it explodes. There is nothing there to break per say. Secondly, according to the vet often times it will create a fistula and the bull can still breed.
 

CattleHand

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Out of 37 calves you lose ten? thats terrible, there is no way you cant make a profit with those conditions. Do you have enough mineral out? What type of feed are the cows getting? I dont know the answer, maybe someone here will but thats your biggest problem.
 
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TheLazyM

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j nmmlTC Cattle,
I'm sorry my lack of writting ability. I started out buying bottle calves. After a few years I moved up to buying breed cows. At the time this was enough for me. I enjoyed all the different animals. THen came a state about building a herd in a day. My satifaction changed forever. Now I want to build a herd. The 37 cows is cows that I had bought bred. My heifers and bull was off that 37. I had 18 heifers after all the cows calved. This is what I started this herd off of. All the cows and other bull calves where sold. So I started with 18 heifers and 1 bull. I never put my bull to 37 cows.
Now I'm down to 5 cow pairs and 3 soon to be, and no bull. Or I can just say I have 8 female 5 of which has calves and 3 bred. I only have 1 bull calf. I'm thinking about keeping all of my heifer calves and buy and buy a young bull just at breeding. I looked today at a 3 year old today. The owner told me he's starting his 2nd season. Tomorrow I'm going to look at a 2 year and a 1 year old.
To fix my coyote problem besides hunting and trapping was with dogs of course, logging trees, and electric fencing. The fence has had the greatest results. It of course has the most maintance and pains in my rearend. I have to keep the weeds of the bottom 3 strands and keep the whole system trouble free. I know my heifers where healthy. No they where not found dead at the last place where I saw them. Coyotes are attacking cattle all the time around here. Most times they are not successive. I did'nt check the leg bones the heifers could have broke a leg trying to get away. I really dont know. It happens at night and its hard to keep a watch at night. I now have camras.
I dont know if the term "broke" is correct or not thats how I've always heard it. I can post a picture I kinda think thats tacky. Its pretty nasty. I've been told theres no turning it around. I'm sure if someone just spend all kinds of time with it. They might beable to heal it. I dont want to take a chance in it getting infected and lose him. I made the best decision I could at the time. Even now I would do the same thing over again. Everybody I know said they would have done the same.
Am I asking for advice. I sure am. I'm always asking for advice> just when I think I've seen it all something new to me happens. I love to learn. Its a bonus when its about cattle that I'm learning about.
 

cross_7

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lazy m
i have lots of coyotes in my area as well and just like you, i have found dead cattle after the coyotes have eaten on them and wondered what happened.
they were fine yesterday and now they are dead and the coyotes sure found them quick.
sure looks suspicious.
if you figure out a way to take care of the coyotes, let me know.

as far as the bull with the broke sticker.
it may not have a bone so it can't be broken, but if he can't breed...it's broke ..right ?
 
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TheLazyM

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cross_7":2s85b0wm said:
lazy m
i have lots of coyotes in my area as well and just like you, i have found dead cattle after the coyotes have eaten on them and wondered what happened.
they were fine yesterday and now they are dead and the coyotes sure found them quick.
sure looks suspicious.
if you figure out a way to take care of the coyotes, let me know.

as far as the bull with the broke sticker.
it may not have a bone so it can't be broken, but if he can't breed...it's broke ..right ?

Thats the way I see it. If it dont work its broke.
The best thing I have found with coyotes is the electric fence. I have 4 strands on the bottom 2' of fence. The 1st, 2nd, and 4th is hot. The 3rd is ground. I have another strand at 3' for my cattle which is hot. I have a ground rod every 1/8 mile. 3 grounding rods at the chargers. I'm using 2 chargers. 1 is a 50 mile 12 volt solar and the other is 10 mile ac charger. Every 200' I run a wire between all 4 of my hot strands so I dont have a strand thats lacking juice. This has worked so far. I actually got to watch a coyote try to go under my fence at christmas it got shocked and it was funny.
 

SRBeef

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TheLazyM":1iky1441 said:
The best thing I have found with coyotes is the electric fence. I have 4 strands on the bottom 2' of fence. The 1st, 2nd, and 4th is hot. The 3rd is ground. I have another strand at 3' for my cattle which is hot. I have a ground rod every 1/8 mile. 3 grounding rods at the chargers. I'm using 2 chargers. 1 is a 50 mile 12 volt solar and the other is 10 mile ac charger. Every 200' I run a wire between all 4 of my hot strands so I dont have a strand thats lacking juice. This has worked so far. I actually got to watch a coyote try to go under my fence at christmas it got shocked and it was funny.

As far as I am aware it is NOT a good idea to hook two fence chargers to one fence as it appears you are doing, especially when you are tying all four hot wires together. I think if you read the charger instruction manuals they clearly say not to feed a fence with more than one charger.
 
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TheLazyM

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SRBeef":17dw3fh2 said:
As far as I am aware it is NOT a good idea to hook two fence chargers to one fence as it appears you are doing, especially when you are tying all four hot wires together. I think if you read the charger instruction manuals they clearly say not to feed a fence with more than one charger.

You would be right. I'm not using 2 chargers on 1 fence but 2 chargers on 2 fences. This pasture's boundary is cut up. Instead of having just 4 boundry sides, it has 8. I use the solar on the long straight 3 sides. I use the ac on the short 4 sides cutting around the house and shop. 1 reason of course the shop already had the plug, and I already had the ac charger installed. I bought the 6volt when I decided to use electric fence to keep things out. I'm sure the solar is enough to handle everything but since I have 2 chargers I saw fit to use both.
 

Workinonit Farm

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cross_7":p7q2ii65 said:
as far as the bull with the broke sticker.
it may not have a bone so it can't be broken,

Actually, even though there is no 'bone' in it, it can break. I have seen it and it isn't pretty.

Katherine
 

KNERSIE

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TheLazyM,

What did the heifers weigh when you joined them with the bull and how old were they? It really sounds like you were too hasty to get them bred (more of us has made that mistake in the past :oops: )

I disagree that 25 cows to a bull is the maximum ratio, and to run 1 bull for every 20 cows is an overkill. 37 cows can never justify running 2 quality bulls and to lower the quality on the bull side simply isn't an option. Using a 2 1/2 or 3 year old on 37 cows is ample bull power for a 60 day breeding season on smallish pastures. I use yearlings on that many on very unhospitable range with no problems, you just need to manage them for that purpose.
 
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