calving time and nutrition

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dimka1980

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Hi guys,

I wanted to ask you few questions and hear your opinions. Ok, some of you might have heard my story, but here it is...this is the first winter for me, I am located in south region of Siberia with everything Siberia has to offer in the winter (cold, snow etc)...anyhow, I have 36 hereford heifers, my plan is to start calving in the end of my, I let the bulls into the heard on August 20th, 2020...my logic was this, heifers will have some time on the green grass in April-May, and will improve it's condition. However, now I am thinking, cow will have calf into the next winter, and feeding just hay will that be enough, and also I will have to wean bull calves around Jan-Feb, or should I? I plan to castrate the bulls at around 12-14 months and run two herds in the summer.
 

kenny thomas

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Is there a reason for leaving the bulls so long? By then you will need 3 herds. Cows, bull calves, heifer calves that many will be bred by the bull calves. Castrate or band them the day they are born.
 

Silver

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I don't know how your winters compare to ours, I think I am located quite a bit farther north than you are but maybe things are similar.
Most people around here with smaller herds tend to calve March and April in order to have calves that can take advantage of the best the grass has to offer in a short growing season and have some good weight on them when weaned in October.
I wouldn't trust a 220 day old bull calf to not be able to leave calves. We castrate ours at birth.
I know you are trying to run on a different model than I am, so my thoughts aren't necessarily what you are looking for.
 
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dimka1980

dimka1980

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I think winters are similar for us. The reason I want to move calving is March, April weather is unpredictable and cows won't have as much milk for calves, I want to improve them after long winter. As for castration, the reason is simple, I want to maximize the potential of natural testosterone of the male calves so they do not lack of growth.
 
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dimka1980

dimka1980

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Is there a reason for leaving the bulls so long? By then you will need 3 herds. Cows, bull calves, heifer calves that many will be bred by the bull calves. Castrate or band them the day they are born.
I want to wait for castration in order to maximize the growth on natural hormones. Then plan is this...in August run AI process and then clean with the terminal bulls, heifers will be 14 months old or so, so should be ok...after that, for the winter put them all together, one herd and overwinter like that.
 

Silver

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I was reading a study the other day that a bull calf is expected to gain I think 10 or 12 pounds more than a steer in 205 days under the same conditions. That made me wonder how much the bulls will lose when castrated, and if there would be a net gain at all. It sounds like you want to do it natural, is there a marketing reason for you not to use growth implants?
 
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dimka1980

dimka1980

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I was reading a study the other day that a bull calf is expected to gain I think 10 or 12 pounds more than a steer in 205 days under the same conditions. That made me wonder how much the bulls will lose when castrated, and if there would be a net gain at all. It sounds like you want to do it natural, is there a marketing reason for you not to use growth implants?
Silver, growth implants are prohibited here in Russia
 

Rancher

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We try for late March thru April calving here in the interior of Alaska. Even so it's sometimes bitter cold or wet snowing weather. Tricky for sure. Reason is by greenup the cows and calves get the best grass early. I like to band bulls in October weaning time, they don't seem to hurt a bit on weight and no insects as it's freeze up too. Calves left on cow to suck in winter up here is hard on the teats.
 

sim.-ang.king

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I was reading a study the other day that a bull calf is expected to gain I think 10 or 12 pounds more than a steer in 205 days under the same conditions. That made me wonder how much the bulls will lose when castrated, and if there would be a net gain at all. It sounds like you want to do it natural, is there a marketing reason for you not to use growth implants?
10-12 pounds lost.
You can take your lose now or later.
 

kenny thomas

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I have never purposely castrated a 12-14 months old bull but I expect the weight loss would be a lot more than 10-12lb. When and how do you market your calves?
 

Stocker Steve

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Low input operators in the north try to calve three weeks after turnout to pasture. This allows for a couple benefits:
1) low labor calving on clean grass in good weather
2) cows are gaining when they calve, breed back sooner, and last longer
3) lower quality cow feed can be used in the winter
4) you have the option of taking the lightweight calves back to grass the next spring
5) you can buy inexpensive "late" cows for replacements
 

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