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Calving Season

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Anonymous

Guest
We generally calve around the middle to the end of March.My ? is,Wouldn't it be better to calve at the end of February to the Middle of March.The reason is here in Wisconsin the end of March it's a little warmer,but it's raining and so muddy.I thought if the calves are a month old,they could tolerate the weather better.We have the Cows calve inside and keep them there for 2-3 days and then send them out if the weather is nasty.Just wondering on your thoughts?

Thanks in advance

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
We normally calve in early to mid March. This year for some reason we sarted calving early, like two to three weeks. Snow/ice was the rule instead of rain/mud. I prefer the rain/mud scenario because at least they aren't cold. That's my take on it. But, there are a number of large ranches in Montana and that area that prefer to calve on the snow because of less pnemonea (sp) problems. I like the rain cause I don't get as cold checking on the ladies and messing with newborn calves.

dunmovin farms

> We generally calve around the
> middle to the end of March.My ?
> is,Wouldn't it be better to calve
> at the end of February to the
> Middle of March.The reason is here
> in Wisconsin the end of March it's
> a little warmer,but it's raining
> and so muddy.I thought if the
> calves are a month old,they could
> tolerate the weather better.We
> have the Cows calve inside and
> keep them there for 2-3 days and
> then send them out if the weather
> is nasty.Just wondering on your
> thoughts?

> Thanks in advance
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm the opposite of Dun. I prefer the cold/snow. If you can get the calves born & dry (we calve in the barn) than the cold is no problem - only need wind break (trees or valley). Much rather have the calves in the snow or frozen ground vs the MUD. Wet mud pulls the heat out of their body faster than snow. Plus more diseases. Of course, this year, our Feb was MUD MUD MUD - yuk. Still mud! Although we are really lacking ground water, we do have surface mud. Jeanne
> We normally calve in early to mid
> March. This year for some reason
> we sarted calving early, like two
> to three weeks. Snow/ice was the
> rule instead of rain/mud. I prefer
> the rain/mud scenario because at
> least they aren't cold. That's my
> take on it. But, there are a
> number of large ranches in Montana
> and that area that prefer to calve
> on the snow because of less
> pnemonea (sp) problems. I like the
> rain cause I don't get as cold
> checking on the ladies and messing
> with newborn calves.

> dunmovin farms

Simme Valley in NY
[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
We calve in the pasture with just leafless trees for shelter. Not many barns in this part of the world. If they calve on grass it's not all that muddy, we don't usually get the real soupy mud till April. Of course with the 4th year of drought, we didn't even have that. Our snow season is usually a day or two of snow, then it all melts and turns to mud anyway, then a week or two later a little more snow. Repeat from early November through late February or early March in bad years. If we had calving barns I'ld probably calve in January, feed costs would go up but the calves would be weaned earlier and hopefully miss the crowds. In normal years the cows are almost completely grazing by mid March so that cuts down the feed bill.

dunmovin farms

> I'm the opposite of Dun. I prefer
> the cold/snow. If you can get the
> calves born & dry (we calve in
> the barn) than the cold is no
> problem - only need wind break
> (trees or valley). Much rather
> have the calves in the snow or
> frozen ground vs the MUD. Wet mud
> pulls the heat out of their body
> faster than snow. Plus more
> diseases. Of course, this year,
> our Feb was MUD MUD MUD - yuk.
> Still mud! Although we are really
> lacking ground water, we do have
> surface mud. Jeanne
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
We start calving around the 1st of february. Unfortunately are calving season is too spread out and we end around the middle of may. I am in the process of tightening it up. The earlier calves have less problems with scours and can handle the increased milk when cows go on pasture. We have to feed from october thru may 15 most years so feed cost are about the same. The big advantage of calving early is bigger calves at weaning. You can wean earlier if you get caught in a drought and still have decent size calves to sell. The major disadvantage here in maine is the sub zero temps we get most years in Feb. Early calving makes it easier for us to AI cows we send off to leased pasture in may.

Pat Bates Norwest Angus

> We generally calve around the
> middle to the end of March.My ?
> is,Wouldn't it be better to calve
> at the end of February to the
> Middle of March.The reason is here
> in Wisconsin the end of March it's
> a little warmer,but it's raining
> and so muddy.I thought if the
> calves are a month old,they could
> tolerate the weather better.We
> have the Cows calve inside and
> keep them there for 2-3 days and
> then send them out if the weather
> is nasty.Just wondering on your
> thoughts?

> Thanks in advance

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
In TN, the feed needs for the cow as a rule of thumb are a percent more energy per temperature degree below 32 degrees in dry weather; or a percent more energy per degree below 59 degrees if the weather is wet. This impacts the cows ability to provide nutrition for herself and the calf without depleting her body score and ability to breed back, unless you provide supplement ($) By the way calf prices seem to be heavily impacted at the end of August/early September each year when the western calves come off the rangeland en masse creating a buyers market, so you might want to factor in your 205 day weanong from that time.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
Our NORMAL winter is 120 inches of snow. Don't think we saw 30 this year! Maintenance requirements for the cowherd does not go up much until below 20 degrees - with no wind. The wind factor is the biggest. None of our COWS receive any grain, just big bales -baleage. Our replacement heifers are fed 5# grain/hd/day.) Our older cattle get down in a valley with tree shelter but do have to "come out" to eat. Our "pampered" 2 and 3 year olds never have to deal with the wind - great location even where they eat. BUT, mud - yuk. Usually only deal with that in fall & spring. Must keep moving the feeders (that's a trick when you keep moving them - you run out of room). We can get "boot eating" mud. Since our area (like most) is really hurting for ground water, our mud has just been mostly "surface" mud, not making too many ruts with tractor. Hopefully, we will be out on grass in two weeks. Usually the last week in April, with some hay supplement for a week or so. Jeanne
> We calve in the pasture with just
> leafless trees for shelter. Not
> many barns in this part of the
> world. If they calve on grass it's
> not all that muddy, we don't
> usually get the real soupy mud
> till April. Of course with the 4th
> year of drought, we didn't even
> have that. Our snow season is
> usually a day or two of snow, then
> it all melts and turns to mud
> anyway, then a week or two later a
> little more snow. Repeat from
> early November through late
> February or early March in bad
> years. If we had calving barns
> I'ld probably calve in January,
> feed costs would go up but the
> calves would be weaned earlier and
> hopefully miss the crowds. In
> normal years the cows are almost
> completely grazing by mid March so
> that cuts down the feed bill.

> dunmovin farms

Simme Valley in NY
[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
My preference is calving in cold weather vs mud. I've yet to see a navel infection from snow, but I've seen hundreds from mud. Also disease transmission is considerably less in colder weather. As long as the calves are up and nursing, calving in a protected area etc, Jan/Feb is a much better time. I'm in Ontario, Canada, so it's probably similar to Wisconsin. This year, of course, was an aberration with weather!
 

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