Counting calves /big herd

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denoginnizer

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How do you guys that run a large herd count all those cows and calves? Or do you just look for sick ones?
 

aztumbleweed

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I can not speak for everyone bot we spend allot of time horse back. I know how many cattle I put in each pasture and I ride that pasture until I see them. Allot of time with some of my red cows you just see the tails as they are running into the brush. Some days I'm just lazy and park on a hill and watch for awhile. And they all get brought in twice a year for works. This year it will be three times if it doesn't rain in the next couple of weeks. :)
 

cypressfarms

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denoginnizer":1cslh2z4 said:
How do you guys that run a large herd count all those cows and calves? Or do you just look for sick ones?

I've wondered about the same thing. If you have 300 head in one large range area, how do you know if one is missing?
 

D.R. Cattle

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You should pen the cattle a minimum of twice a year for shots and deworming. Most of us more often than that for castrating, weaning and doctoring. Count them up then.
 

ranchmgr

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Usually try to keep them split into groups of 150-200 pairs. Not really feasible to count, most of them come up when I come in the gate wich makes it easy to check for sicks. Brahma cows stay in 1 group of 400 those are checked at feeding and by riding through. Replacement heifers handled the same as the Brahmans. Keep track of who is where through AI records.
 

aplusmnt

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Not sure if they make such a thing or not. But I always thought a GPS tag would be great for the Big ranchers. It could be implicated in with all the new verification tags coming out now.

They have a small round tag that not only serves as source verification, but also works as a GPS system. Much like the ones now you can get on your teens cellphone.

You would be able to go on computer and pull up a map of your area and it would show on screen where all cattle are and when the last time they moved was. Then if you have one that has not moved in long time you can go check on them to see if sick or dead? All counting cattle could be done in just a few minutes right from your computer.

Also would show you were a rustled cow was unless they cut the tag out of the ear.
 

CattleAnnie

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When we had a fair-sized herd (for the two of us, that is), we counted cows in the fall when they came home from pasture. Unfortunately, in the spring, once they are out to grass in the foothills, it becomes nigh impossible to keep a true count due to the terrain that they are in (little cross-fencing, draws, gullies, very thick timber, muskeg and river breaks).

This means that unless you happen to see a calf that looks orphaned (gutty, thin, etc) or a cow that looks dry (dirty bag that may be either dried off looking if the calf was killed a while ago, or tight bag and bawling cow if the calf was killed recently), the actual number of cattle lost in the pasture remains unknown until fall round-up when all the stock has been gathered and counted.

Kind of the pits, but what do you do? Last year total death losses in the Community Pasture were 38 head. This year the number rose to 44 head, and we've finally been able to get some assistance from the Wildlife folks for wolf control.

When the cattle are at home, they are much easier to moniter, as they are in tame pastures with little bush for them to hide in.

We sold off the majority of the cow herd to try and stay afloat due to BSE financial troubles, but are heading in a new direction this year. Currently are picking up 6 weight heifers that we'll expose to Angus bulls in the spring. Will sell them as bred heifers in the fall. This will enable us to keep our grazing alotment numbers in the Community Pasture, and will make it easier to keep the jobs we have without needing to take time off for a couple months to calve out cows.

Last year we put 70 odd head of yearling heifers out to grass along with our pairs, and they all came home. On the other hand, I lost a pair and a calf to wolves and Honey lost two calves, so maybe this is the way to go. Should be interesting gathering a couple hundred head of bred heifers in the fall. ;-)


Take care.
 

msscamp

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During the winter, it was easy to just walk back down the line after feeding hay and count them. In the summer water had to be checked every other day as the windmills did not have submersibles and were dependant on the wind. This was done on horseback and the cattle were found, checked and counted.
 

cypressfarms

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aplusmnt":1gjeybzh said:
Not sure if they make such a thing or not. But I always thought a GPS tag would be great for the Big ranchers. It could be implicated in with all the new verification tags coming out now.

They have a small round tag that not only serves as source verification, but also works as a GPS system. Much like the ones now you can get on your teens cellphone.

You would be able to go on computer and pull up a map of your area and it would show on screen where all cattle are and when the last time they moved was. Then if you have one that has not moved in long time you can go check on them to see if sick or dead? All counting cattle could be done in just a few minutes right from your computer.

Also would show you were a rustled cow was unless they cut the tag out of the ear.

aplusmnt, I like the idea. My horses all have micro chips in their neck (required for coggins here); I'm sure that there is a way for some scientists to make that gps device in the chips. It would be nice to check from work if all of your cattle are there. It would kind of take away the stress relief of going out and being with the cattle that I have now, though. Hey a "vacation watcher" - perfect.
 

D.R. Cattle

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aplusmnt":1bn2m54z said:
Not sure if they make such a thing or not. But I always thought a GPS tag would be great for the Big ranchers. It could be implicated in with all the new verification tags coming out now.

They have a small round tag that not only serves as source verification, but also works as a GPS system. Much like the ones now you can get on your teens cellphone.

You would be able to go on computer and pull up a map of your area and it would show on screen where all cattle are and when the last time they moved was. Then if you have one that has not moved in long time you can go check on them to see if sick or dead? All counting cattle could be done in just a few minutes right from your computer.

Also would show you were a rustled cow was unless they cut the tag out of the ear.

Expensive. We use EID tags which we can scan with a wand when we run through the pens. No GPS and it's still in the neighborhood of 3.00 each. But it sure makes things roll a lot quicker in an electronic system.
 

andybob

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Because we used a rotational grazing system, we could count at each paddock change4-6 weekly, the Sanga breeds would always herd in their social groups, with young calves together in 'nursery' groups where the mothers could watch them and move into defensive positions quickly. This made locating them in the bush easier, however, losses were usually located by watching the carrion birds! our cattle were expected to take care of themselves. Neighbours with Bos Indicus and European breeds had to round up and dip their cattle every two weeks in summer, so they had a better oppertunity for regular counts!
 

Beefy

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i dont count them, i'm just EXTREMELY observant. if i see someone acting funny i investigate. i know whos about to calve and make sure i find them. i guess you could say i pay more attention to the mamas. if i see one stressed out i know somethings up. also i always take note of who is in the back of the herd.

ps. GPS cow counter sounds like a get rich quick idea.
 

Bez!

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Beefy":a175d9vi said:
i dont count them, i'm just EXTREMELY observant. if i see someone acting funny i investigate. i know whos about to calve and make sure i find them. i guess you could say i pay more attention to the mamas. if i see one stressed out i know somethings up. also i always take note of who is in the back of the herd.

ps. GPS cow counter sounds like a get rich quick idea.

Well, let's get a couple of venture capitalists on line and talk.

Bez!
 

cypressfarms

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Bez!":1q51dqqn said:
Beefy":1q51dqqn said:
i dont count them, i'm just EXTREMELY observant. if i see someone acting funny i investigate. i know whos about to calve and make sure i find them. i guess you could say i pay more attention to the mamas. if i see one stressed out i know somethings up. also i always take note of who is in the back of the herd.

ps. GPS cow counter sounds like a get rich quick idea.

Well, let's get a couple of venture capitalists on line and talk.

Bez!

Row crop farmers are already using GPS in their combines to see where their harvest fluctuates (thereby knowing where to fertilize more, etc); For the cattlemen it could not only help with identification, but maybe pinpoint less productive areas of pastures, giving the farmer clues to improve the pasture. Just thinking out loud here way into the future. :idea:
 

cypressfarms

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Beefy":3qpo9jwm said:
ps. GPS cow counter sounds like a get rich quick idea.

Everyone should be entitled to get rich quick. Cowculator, I like that. Sounds like something Crowder might need though.
 

Bez!

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cypressfarms":1fu5dges said:
Bez!":1fu5dges said:
Beefy":1fu5dges said:
i dont count them, i'm just EXTREMELY observant. if i see someone acting funny i investigate. i know whos about to calve and make sure i find them. i guess you could say i pay more attention to the mamas. if i see one stressed out i know somethings up. also i always take note of who is in the back of the herd.

ps. GPS cow counter sounds like a get rich quick idea.

Well, let's get a couple of venture capitalists on line and talk.

Bez!

Row crop farmers are already using GPS in their combines to see where their harvest fluctuates (thereby knowing where to fertilize more, etc); For the cattlemen it could not only help with identification, but maybe pinpoint less productive areas of pastures, giving the farmer clues to improve the pasture. Just thinking out loud here way into the future. :idea:

I am quite familiar with using gps for crops - but the Cowculator and immediate ID is an interesting thought.

In fact I know more than a few satcomm engimineer type guys who could probably rig up something that would be small enough and yet powerful enough to work. The immediate problem is maintaining power in the unit so it could broadcast a signal.

Tractors and combines use the on board power generation to run the system - cattle? Solar? Interesting idea - battery? Temp could be constant due to animal body temp but insertion into body would limit the overall signal generating capacity.

Collar? expensive.

I am already sold on the potentials - too many to list.

This unit could possibly be produced cheaply but the development costs might be fairly high. Money it will take and money it would make.

Interesting.

Bez!
 

aplusmnt

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Yea money is always the problem. But when you look world wide at the man hours used in managing cattle I am sure it could end up being cost effective years down the line.

I would say maybe a small round tag with a battery in it that is disposable. You could just cut out the tags every so often (battery life) and replace the whole tag when you work them. So you do not have to be out in field changing batteries...lol.

My portable GPS we use when riding mules in the hills only uses a couple AA batteries, but you would have to have some power to send back to your base station. So juice might be the biggest problem. I am sure there is Batteries out there to do it but those small powerful ones are expensive.
 

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