Calving

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ArrowHBrand

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When does everybody calve? My wife and I had our first calf this year on January 4. We were finished calving by the end of February. There were a couple of winter storms and a blizzard that we had to go out in to make sure the calves were alright, but our last cow calved when it was 30 below zero and after three days of being shut up in the barn and a week of being allowed to go in and out, we kicked the pair out back into the lot. No problems. We know quite a few others up around here in NW Iowa who do calve early and others who don't. What does everyone do where they are from?
 

vs_cattle

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I want to set mine up to calve about 2-3 months before our natral pastured grow tall from about Dec on so when it gets that time they are old enough to eat forage as well so it would be Sep - Oct
 

rockridgecattle

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We calve March, April for three reasons.
One:
we are so busy the rest of the year that is when we can devote 24/7 to the cows.
Two:
January is usually -30 C. and march while very indecisive, can be warmer. but there are -30 days.
Three
We both drive school bus so we try for the bulk of the herd to calve during spring break.
We are in Manitoba, Canada
 

Victoria

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Right now everything is really messy. We got into purebreds a few years back and we like to have them calving end of January to start. BUT we keep buying some and so this year we started beginning of January. On top of that we still have our commercial cows who don't start until end of February. As we get less of them our season will shorten. Right now it seems like we calve forever though!
 

jcarkie

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depending on your area, i like mine feb 15 - april 15. the weather is not too bad during that time. and the grass comes on for breeding season and we are done before it is too hot. they are ready to sell by mid october.
i have some in the fall too i like end of sept beginning of oct., i prefer spring over fall except then you have some calves to sell in the spring.
 
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ArrowHBrand

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We usually wean in August and put our calves on feed to sell in mid October. My wife and I are thinking about putting the next batch of heifers to calve in the fall so we could have calves to sell in the spring. How is the market for spring calves usually?
 

Weaver

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We start calving the first week or two of march. The cows don't get any shelter for the winter, just the woods and hills and calving in march is about as early as I want to try.
 

Northern Rancher

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Were probably about 3/4 done right now-I haven't seen much of the cows the last three weeks as they crossed a big muskkeg. We started in early May more or less.
 

regenwether

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I have both a spring herd and a Fall herd. Both have their pros and cons. The one thing I will tell you is If you can Do not calve heifers in the fall. I have a few that will breed late from my spring herd I'll throw into my fall herd. It is hard on them. They go into the winter with a calf nursing on them. You don't have the lush spring-summer grass to keep them going. It does work. They might get a little thin on you. Your cost will be higher for them fall calves but on the other side they are worth more.

I don't know what kind of cattle you like to run. I've found that if you go to a Cow sale in the spring the 1st/2nd trimester cows will sell much cheaper. A lot of times they are the two's and three's running through the ring. There is nothing wrong with them. They just got bred late and the farmer doesn't want to mess with them. I started mine with a bunch of 4-8 yr old cows. Now I just throw my late one's from my spring herd with them. Good luck! :D
 

msscamp

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ArrowHBrand":22eh4thx said:
When does everybody calve? My wife and I had our first calf this year on January 4. We were finished calving by the end of February. There were a couple of winter storms and a blizzard that we had to go out in to make sure the calves were alright, but our last cow calved when it was 30 below zero and after three days of being shut up in the barn and a week of being allowed to go in and out, we kicked the pair out back into the lot. No problems. We know quite a few others up around here in NW Iowa who do calve early and others who don't. What does everyone do where they are from?

On the ranch we started calving mid-February. After the folks retired we moved to mid-March because our current set-up lacked the resources we had on the ranch. Reasons - it's still cold enough to help prevent spread of disease, but we didn't have to deal with quite as many sub-zero nights or blizzards(usually), no flies to contend with, no haying/farming to contend with, things weren't as hectic as they are in spring, so we had the time/opportunity to watch them and deal with any problems that arose, and the calves were big enough to enjoy the spring grass by the time it came on.

PS I forgot to add something. Congratulations! :D
 

highvoltagecattleco

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I have two times. Febuary thru March. Then late July till September. This allows me to have calves for sale twice. My bull can service more cows. I am in Western Washington, winters are mild, spring is wet, and fall is outstanding. I like calving in August. Our grass comes back in September and we have 3 months under them before the rain hits.
 

novatech

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I have seen as many opinions on this as there are days in the year. There are many reasons people calve when they do, as you can see by the replys. You can also do a search on this and find quite a few more reasons. I would take all the reasons in consideration.
Maybe what you should do is get out a calendar and for every month write down all the goods and bads about calveing for that particular month. Don,t forget to include market value at the time you intend to sell and consider what your selling weight will be. And what condition your momma cows will maintain during the time the calves are on them.
After you have done all this you may be better informed as to what your decession should be.
I believe there are just to many variables as to your weather, your pasture, your cows, your market, feed prices, hay prices, etc. for anyone to advise you with certainty on this matter.

PS Compare that calander with events with your family and personel life.
 

buckwheat_87

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Spring: Feb.15 - May.1 Fall: Sep.20 - Nov. 20


best chance for good weather and dont have to worry bout flies as bad. U probley dont have a problem with flies and im sure the weather pattern is different, but this is what works best for us.
 
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ArrowHBrand

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The main reason we were calving so early in the year was for the show calves. Our first show heifer to calf this year calved on January 4! We do have flies up the wing wang in the summer until the first killing frost. I've never thought about not calving heifers in the fall because of how much the calf would demand of them, thanks for the insight. It makes sense, right now we just weaned and one of the heifers looks like heck because the calf was just too hard on her. There is a market up here for fall born calves sold in the spring or early summer and we could pick up some pretty cheap 6-10 year old bred cows that would sell as culls to start a fall herd. I guess I'll just have to sit and talk to the boss on this one...that would be my wife, hahaha!
 
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