Cows to bull ratio

Help Support CattleToday:

Col Reb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
90
Reaction score
25
Location
North Mississippi
I recently bought a new bull. Currently 15 mos old. He’s by far the best bull I’ve owned. I am currently running about 40 head of cows & have 3 bulls with intentions on selling one. We do not have a single calving season. I have several calves between January and March, again in May & then again between September and November. I would like to keep the latest bull & run only him just because his epd’s are so much better. I am noticing when I have a cow come in that all 3 are chasing it & knocking each other off. Seems counter productive to me. Lucky she’s even getting bred. I need some input or thoughts on running the single bull for my herd & getting rid of the other 2.
 

SBMF 2015

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
522
Location
West Central,IL
If your that spread out and the cows all stay in close proximity to each other than you can probably get by with 1 bull.
The fall cows should be bred already and the January calves won't get bred til April, so your new bull will be 19mos old before he really has to do any work.
As long as he doesn't have to cover a lot of acres to find the cows in heat you should be fine.
 

Hoser

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
115
Reaction score
47
Location
Hockey Central (Alberta, Canada)
The last couple years I've had 1 bull per 35-40 cows in a 60 day breeding period and one backup bull left at home. So your one bull for cows that spread out should be fine but I like having a backup. If you have people close by that will sell or rent one last minute if you get in a pickle then you could sell both and not have to worry about containing one on its own.
 

KAstocker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
118
Location
Western Missouri
My dad calves year round and runs a bull per 40 cows, although he's got more than one bull.

For a normal breeding season, the rule of thumb for young bulls on age is one cow per month of age. Maybe wait a year if you just want the 15 month old bull.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,741
Reaction score
307
Location
Central Minnesota
Running two similar sized bulls at a time is a good way to end up with a crippled bull.

The most cows I have run with one bull is 76. The bull was 84 months old. I had two open after 60 days.

The guy I bought him from thought he was being overworked. The bull did lose some weight during breeding season, but whispered that he did not mind the OT!
 
Last edited:

timer

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
19
I agree that he should be able to handle the herd since they are spread out. You should keep a bull in reserve and provide some time for recovery and extra nutrition for the growing bull. Also, you are putting all your breeding program in the responsibility of an unproven sire.
 

lithuanian farmer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
1,637
Reaction score
110
Location
Europe, Lithuania
When you have a spread out calving season, one bull is enough for 30-40 cows for sure. Had run one our for four seasons starting from 20+ and going up to 30+ cows per year. No problem, all bred in time for them all to calve at the similar time they calved the year before or abit earlier.
However, a back up bull would be perfect to have if something happened to the working bull, or you wouldn't be happy with the working bull's calves.
 

SBMF 2015

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
522
Location
West Central,IL
Running two similar sized bulls at a time is a good way to end up with a crippled bull.

The most cows I have run with one bull is 76. I had two open after 60 days.

The guy I bought him from thought he was being overworked. The bull was 84 months old, he had lost some weight during breeding season, but said he did not mind the work.
I have always been told "A mature bull with a large scrotal CM and high libido can settle a cow every seven minutes."
We had a bull running with twenty cows. Ten days after turn out he was sore on his feet. A week later he wouldn't fallow the cows. He spent all summer in the thick timber all alone. Couldn't get him out, didn't want to shoot him, didn't dare turn another bull in. At that time we started calving apr 1st. by Apr 7th all 20 of those cows had calved!
 

Lee VanRoss

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
483
Reaction score
466
Calving 40 cows year around with multiple bulls is tantamount to death from a thousand pin pricks.
35 to 40 calves in a group (separated by sex of course) would bring a substantially larger ticket
than piddle assing around with a hand full. JMO
 

SBMF 2015

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
522
Location
West Central,IL
Calving 40 cows year around with multiple bulls is tantamount to death from a thousand pin pricks.
35 to 40 calves in a group (separated by sex of course) would bring a substantially larger ticket
than piddle assing around with a hand full. JMO
You know I tend to agree, but every operation is different. I have a neighbor that runs at 125 stock cows. Calves year around. They do it that way because there grandpa did. He fed out all there calves and could only haul 5or 6 fats in there 2ton truck to the Chicago Stock Yards. It just made sense to them to not have 100 fats ready at once.
Now they sell a goose neck load at a time. They got the highs and lows through out the year.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,741
Reaction score
307
Location
Central Minnesota
I have always been told "A mature bull with a large scrotal CM and high libido can settle a cow every seven minutes."
We synced some heifers, and then had a death in the family right before before the big day, so we had to leave town. Went to plan B and turned out a virgin yearling bull. I was concerned so I observed for a period. The yearling bred 5 head in the first hour. He could have done much better if he did not try to breed the heifer' head half the time... I don't think that bull bought into the old one per month of age story.
 
Last edited:

Warren Allison

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
302
Reaction score
165
Location
Georgia
Talk about year-round calving...Last 3 days I have been helping a friend of mine wean calves and move bulls. The man has about 15 farms or pastures leased within 30 miles or less of his homeplace. The dude keeps 25-30 cows...all Criollo: Corriente mostly, with some Longhorn. Fla Cracker or Fla Scrub, and Piney Woods, ( and various crosses of the 4) in 12 different places. He has a January calving pasture. February pasture, etc., one for each month. He weans at 6 months. He then has 25-30 polled, black calves to take to the sale every month! Might get as low as $10k one month, or as high as 20k another month. He has an Angus bull and a Brangus bull, and each one spends 30 days in one of the pastures, every other month. This week , we moved the bull out of the September pasture, put the other one in the October pasture, took the calves out of the June pasture and moved them to his house where he will feed them for 30 days, and took a cow that hadn't calved yet, but was about to, out of the December pasture and put her in the January pasture. We also banded the last of the December calves. He works these calves twice, 2 weeks apart. , for each pasture the month they are born. His hay barn, horse stables and pasture, and the pasture for the off-duty bull and the weanlings are all at his home place. This time a year, until March once every week to 10 days, he will load 24 round bales on his truck and trailer, and go feed the 12 pastures. The rest of the year, because these type cows do not get sick nor have calving problems, he spends one day a month weaning and hauling 25-30 claves, moves 2 bulls, spends another day a month hauling claves to the sale, and spends one more day in one of the pastures banding bull calves. So basically he works cows 3 days a month...not bad for $10k-$20k a month!!! Has one man that lives on the place to help him.. a couple of grandsons for haying season, but some real good horses and dogs.
 

Lee VanRoss

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
483
Reaction score
466
Help me out here. We have 15 farms (pastures)
25 -30 cows in 12 pastures Assuming you mean each 25 cows x 12 = 300 head 30 cows x 12 =360 head
2 bulls covering 300-360 cows and apparently a 100% calf crop
30 calves divided by $10,000. = $333. per calf per cow for the year or it could be up to
25 calves divided by $20,000. =$800. per calf per cow for the year which is a nice ticket for a 30 day weaned calf
I hear the grass is really good over in that neck of the woods.......
 

Latest posts

Top