done calving!

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sjr725

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All week, cold and snowing and calves dropping all over the place - today and tomorrow into the weekend weather is supposed to warm into 30's and at last count we have 2 holdout cows out of 370, this morning they looked huge and uncomfortable - can't hold out much longer - Anyhow - I'm glad to be done! Only had one calf looks like he'll lose the end of his tail to the cold everyone else is hale and hearty. This is defintely a bull calf year on our place out of 368 calves got 219 bull calves! anybody else notice the gender swing from year to year? I'm not complaining, wasn't planning on keeping any heifers this year - kept a bunch back last year.

My experimental Piedmontese X calves - no calving trouble and they are not noticably bigger than anyone else. Most of the babies this year averaged 85-95 range and these were right in there 88-90, plenty good I'd say. I'll get some photos posted as soon as I can and you guys can say what you think? We don't usually AI so this was just an experiment on a few older herfx cows - just to see what all the hoopla is about.
 

klasqh

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We're done too - but just a few less than you!!! First calf born Dec. 30th - last one February 3rd - 6 total - 4 heifers, 2 bulls - 2 AI - 2 from one cleanup bull - 2 from the other cleanup bull. Weights from 75lbs to 117lbs - all born unassisted - no frozen ears or tails. Can't wait for the fall babies now!!!!
 

BTRANCH

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I am jealous of a herd that size! We have worked up to 6 momma cows, three calves on the ground, one more due any day. We have 2 heifers and 1 bull calf. We will keep at least one of the heifers. The other one is a wait and see.
 

*Cowgirl*

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sjr725":39x6s66f said:
All week, cold and snowing and calves dropping all over the place - today and tomorrow into the weekend weather is supposed to warm into 30's and at last count we have 2 holdout cows out of 370, this morning they looked huge and uncomfortable - can't hold out much longer - Anyhow - I'm glad to be done! Only had one calf looks like he'll lose the end of his tail to the cold everyone else is hale and hearty. This is defintely a bull calf year on our place out of 368 calves got 219 bull calves! anybody else notice the gender swing from year to year? I'm not complaining, wasn't planning on keeping any heifers this year - kept a bunch back last year.
In 05-06 we had 86% bull calves :roll:
 
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sjr725

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cfpinz, we started about the last week of Jan. - we try to get them all within 6weeks or so- this year they sort of bunched up in about 4 weeks. According to the calendar- they could have started as early as Jan 15th or so and gone until close to the first of march - we try really hard to be done by March 1, so that all can be ready to go to summer pasture. We'll put the bulls back in with them around the last week of April - first week of May,
 

cfpinz

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That is very impressive, you must have some excellent cattle and management practices. What is your bull to cow ratio? If I remember correctly, don't you raise hereford/angus cross cattle?

cfpinz
 
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sjr725

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Thanks - mostly herf, and herf x char cows - a few bwf. We use both Herf and Charlois bulls. This year we have 370 momma cows and 60 replacement heifers that we'll be breeding. I've probably got 50 head of cows that will go to the sale after weaning in the fall. This year we've got 15 mature bulls and 3 new 2yr old herf bulls that we will be taking delivery of in April. So, we'll give the new boys probably 10-12 cows apiece that would leave about 26 cows each for the other bulls.
My husb will move all the cows to dry lot, once the alfalfa starts to come up and he'll sort out which cows go to which bulls. We have found that by confining them in small groups like that the bulls spend less time arguing amongst themselves and more time tending to the business at hand, we also have the dry lot pens lined with plywood where two lots share the same fence - so the bulls don't even see each other. My dad always did it this way and it always worked for him so we just continued to do it. I don't keep cows that are hard to settle, they just put everyone behind schedule. It mostly works OK for us this way. They have to come off the hayfields anyway and it's to early for them to go up to the mountains for the summer so - this is a good solution.
 

KNERSIE

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I've been contemplating dry lotting the cows I AI next season if my hay situation allows it. How long do you keep them in the drylot and what do you feed the cows while in there? Do you keep the same bull with his 26 cows for the full period in the dry lot or do they come out and get cleanup bulls for the rest of the time for those that was missed?
 
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sjr725

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We ususally try to get them off the hayfields before they get muddy, and the cows tear up the hay usually by mid march - they we'll put the bulls in with them in late april, they're usually pretty well done by mid may, but they'll stay with the cows & calves until we take them to summer pasture, depending on the snow but historically around the first week of June - we'll take some of the younger, lighter bulls up there with them to bat clean up if you will, the big boys get to stay home - it's too hard for them to get around up there and they don't like to wander around that much.
Usually the same bull stays with the same bunch of cows the whole time - on the rare occasion that one gets injured or something then we move them around but not if we can help it. This method also lets us keep our good bulls longer since we can be sure one won't be breeding his daughter or something - we know who belongs to who, and some matches have produced excellent calves so we can keep that going year after year.
We were lucky when we bought this place, it used to be part of an old dairy next to my dad's place, so it had a good infrastructure of pens. We feed good quality grass/alfalfa mix hay, same as they have been getting since they grazed off the standing hay in the fields. I don't ususally give anybody grain or pellets or any supplemental feed unless they have a problem - just good quality hay, mineral salt & clean water.
 

KNERSIE

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Do you feed the salt seperately, or mixed in with the minerals?

Do you give them a Vit A shot or any other special treatment before being dry lotted?
 
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sjr725

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They have separate self feeders for mineral/salt its a loose fed mixture. We don't have any major soil deficiencies here so nothing special is needed, it's just a trace mineral mix, My husb would know better exactly what's in it. No special vaccinations just because of the dry lot. When they come in we'll vaccinate for all the annual stuff and worm everbody and brand/vaccinate/castrate the calves
 

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