Drought plan

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bird dog

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My animals are just going to have to lose some weight. I ask them if they were all right with limited grass or did they want to go to the packers. The majority voted to lose weight but the vote was close.
I don't have enough hay to feed now and through the winter and corn stalk rolls to me are a waste. I have the best herd I have had in a long time but the count is way off. I have shipped everything old, open, to big, or a poor performer. You lose your calf, you lose your life. They are actually in pretty good shape. Pasture rotation has worked well and it wasn't until the latest move that they have rotated back to a pasture where it hasn't rained since they were there last. I know its not good but its what I do. I went through this in 2011 and the cows got embarrassingly thin but they recovered pretty quick when the rains finally came in the fall. I know my weaning weights from my spring calves will suffer but then again so did the fall calvers since we have been way below normal since last fall.

I started discing a pasture today and will try some oats and rye grass again. This is the plan for now and I reserve the right to change my mind.
 

Hpacres440p

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Never have.
Did some over mature haygrazer one year.

Well, I only fed a couple bales. The other folks had sever issues when calving time came. Lots of opens. We assumed hay related abortions.
But that's seriously just a guess. Because that same year they fed a bunch of over fertilized Bermuda too. So hot, it burned it all out. Nothing grew for over a year.
I’ll be nitrate testing the bales we get-if high, keeping the early bred cows off for sure, May limit feed the others with carb/protein supplements to balance the nitrates
 

callmefence

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I’ll be nitrate testing the bales we get-if high, keeping the early bred cows off for sure, May limit feed the others with carb/protein supplements to balance the nitrates
If you're feeding stalks I'm guessing it was harvested. If it was there shouldn't be a issue with nitrates. I wasn't to stressed if it made a crop.
Scott Rushing DVM in lampasas does a nitrate test in the clinic without having to send it off.
 

TCRanch

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What are the prices like currently out your way on cull cows and feeders? I know there's been a lot of pot loads lined up.
I'm over in Virginia, prices are strong here I'm seeing 5 wt feeders just over $2 again, flashback to 2014.
Still strong here as well.
1658528534204
 

Hpacres440p

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If you're feeding stalks I'm guessing it was harvested. If it was there shouldn't be a issue with nitrates. I wasn't to stressed if it made a crop.
Scott Rushing DVM in lampasas does a nitrate test in the clinic without having to send it off.
It did get harvested. Would you risk it with bred cows?
 

wbvs58

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I might have missed it but I don't recall anyone mentioning early weaning as a drought strategy. I have weaned down to 6-8 weeks to take the load off the cows. My Q cows ( just having their 2nd calves now) were in fact early weaned with a couple down to 6 wks, they were still AI'd at 14mths and most conceived on the 1st insemination and this group was very good with rebreeding as well and most have their 2nd calf on the ground now. I do of course feed them when early weaned, I keep them growing at 1-1.5kg/day. It allows me to put put my cows into my 600 acre scrub/drought block to forage for roughage with a little protein meal supplement. Works for me.

Ken
 

Hpacres440p

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Vets correct me if I'm wrong but nitrate poisoning has nothing to do with whether the cow is bred or not. Or even if it's a cow. Could be a bull, steer, calf, whatever is eating the grass or stalks.
Correct-anything can get nitrate poisoning, but a bred cow is 2-cow and calf. A steer/bull/calf is painful too, but not going to abort if a sub -clinical case of toxicity, from my understanding. Not wanting to accidentally cause bred cows to abort if nitrates are higher than they should be, but not bad enough to fully affect the cow. Does that make any sense?
 
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kenny thomas

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Correct-anything can get nitrate poisoning, but a bred cow is 2-cow and calf. A steer/bull/calf is painful too, but not going to abort if a sun-clinical case of toxicity, from my understanding. Not wanting to accidentally cause bred cows to abort if nitrates are higher than they should be, but not bad enough to fully affect the cow. Does that make any sense?
Makes sense. I always assumed it either killed them or didn't effect them. I have learned something.
 
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MurraysMutts

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I might have missed it but I don't recall anyone mentioning early weaning as a drought strategy. I have weaned down to 6-8 weeks to take the load off the cows. My Q cows ( just having their 2nd calves now) were in fact early weaned with a couple down to 6 wks, they were still AI'd at 14mths and most conceived on the 1st insemination and this group was very good with rebreeding as well and most have their 2nd calf on the ground now. I do of course feed them when early weaned, I keep them growing at 1-1.5kg/day. It allows me to put put my cows into my 600 acre scrub/drought block to forage for roughage with a little protein meal supplement. Works for me.

Ken
Food for thought right there my friend!

Cheaper to feed the calves than the cows huh?

Lots of folks selling small unweaned calves right now. And they are going cheap!!
Perhaps I should sell cows, buy all 250lb heifers and just start plumb the heck over. Not the worst plan I've heard by far
 

Brute 23

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I might have missed it but I don't recall anyone mentioning early weaning as a drought strategy. I have weaned down to 6-8 weeks to take the load off the cows. My Q cows ( just having their 2nd calves now) were in fact early weaned with a couple down to 6 wks, they were still AI'd at 14mths and most conceived on the 1st insemination and this group was very good with rebreeding as well and most have their 2nd calf on the ground now. I do of course feed them when early weaned, I keep them growing at 1-1.5kg/day. It allows me to put put my cows into my 600 acre scrub/drought block to forage for roughage with a little protein meal supplement. Works for me.

Ken
I'm a big believer in weaning early. That last month or two is hard on cows and pasture with all those big calves. Plus, the calves don't gain the same in a drought. You don't want to be throwing good after bad. Get the cows bred back and hope for rain on the next batch.

The first of the year light calves were bringing good money so we were rolling them at #4-500.
 

Cattlelow

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I'm thinking hard on planting annuals on the back half of the farm, especially since purchasing hay looks hard to do.

I do believe this will be the last year we calve much of anything on this place for a while. Ran a dud bull last year and still haven't seen a calf. Expecting to start seeing them around September. My dumbass didn't write down when I borrowed a bull. I do know it was close to Christmas.

Ten head gone in August. Maybe sell a few that don't like my management. We have too many head for the weather. Really would like to find some hay to buy, but am not holding my breath.

Start 2nd cut this Friday.

Had a 70% chance today, and got none. Chances half the week, but it'll go around us like it has all year. I've watched the rain hit across the road more this year than anyone should have to experience.

I am hoping everyone gets a soaker, and soon.
How far are you willing to go for hay?
 

Cattlelow

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Just depends how cheap it is. 😆 How far are you from Hawkins County, TN?
608 miles. Bahaya 4 x 6 at $55. It's a friend of ours. He put up 192 rolls last week. He charges $6 a mile. Just sharing in case anyone needs it. I know you'd probably be a bit far. I can pm his number for anyone interested. The folks near Longview TX have been in touch. Tough decisions going around.
 

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