Fetal Programming beef cows. If you don't feed them, don't expect much...

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CattleMan1920

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I've been harping on this subject ad nauseam for quite a while, and many say to me "your cows are fat" or "they are too obese to function"

I also hear "well my calves look a little weak this year, must have been the bad winter" No, more like lack of nutrition.

At the present my current calf crop looks better than ever, they are all mini tanks, with unbelievable vigor.

Why? It's because I fed the mommas the best I could put in them.

I'm glad some people, namely Angus, who tend to be cutting edge anyway, have addressed this issue. Here is the link to a new video they posted on Youtube. It's short and to the point.

http://bit.ly/2PyLGhx
 
But....too much of a good thing.

The argument could also go cattle that are treated poorly and thrive are what you want and there is an argument in parts this is how genetics should be selected. There is always different ways to look at it. I am a small operator so my cattle get fed well but i don't dismiss others ideas also.
 
Good nutrition definitely plays a major role in weaning weights. My calves are looking and growing great but that should change by June 1st. We're in a bad drought and the oats, ryegrass and clover is beginning to play out. But I'm sure they'll all weigh between 450 and 600 Ibs in 8 months. The calves won't see any feed or supplements till we bunk train and condition them for the last 45 days.
 
True Grit Farms said:
Good nutrition definitely plays a major role in weaning weights. My calves are looking and growing great but that should change by June 1st. We're in a bad drought and the oats, ryegrass and clover is beginning to play out. But I'm sure they'll all weigh between 450 and 600 Ibs in 8 months. The calves won't see any feed or supplements till we bunk train and condition them for the last 45 days.

That's a typo of 450 at 8 months right?
 
My observations of cattle over 68 years:

Cattle that are fed poorly - look poorly.

Cattle that are fed goodly - look goodly.

It is not that complicated.
 
I agree with feeding them well but you can't help but notice those cows that raise some of the biggest calves all while maintaining their body condition.

That's the kind of Cow that I prefer. I do supplement while mine are eating hay and nursing calves but my choice of replacements is pretty strongly based off of the cows that perform on lower inputs.
 
Maybe everyone should stop worrying about WW , and YW since they don't feed thier cows anyway. I totally agree with Branded, unlimited feed. YW and WW will be <0 without enough feed. If you want to starve your cows get Corrientes.
 
Caustic Burno said:
True Grit Farms said:
Good nutrition definitely plays a major role in weaning weights. My calves are looking and growing great but that should change by June 1st. We're in a bad drought and the oats, ryegrass and clover is beginning to play out. But I'm sure they'll all weigh between 450 and 600 Ibs in 8 months. The calves won't see any feed or supplements till we bunk train and condition them for the last 45 days.

That's a typo of 450 at 8 months right?

Nope that's just telling it like it is for our spring born calves. I have 10 calves from heifers that weigh less 900 lbs. I breed my heifers early trying to keep them on the smaller side once they mature. Our fall calves will be 75 to 100 lbs larger because we supplement them. But they won't net anymore money, 450 to 550 lbs is the sweet spot to sell calves around here. We're finally getting our commercial cattle where we want them. CB, you know the deal, it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep that matters.
 
I don't mind if the cow loses some condition while she's milking if the calf is growing well.. as long as she regains it after weaning and is in good shape for the next one.

This year I broke down and bought a molasses/protein tub for the yearling heifers and first timers, they can use it, but at $180 a tub I don't see how anyone can make those things pencil out for a herd
 
Nesikep said:
I don't mind if the cow loses some condition while she's milking if the calf is growing well.. as long as she regains it after weaning and is in good shape for the next one.

This year I broke down and bought a molasses/protein tub for the yearling heifers and first timers, they can use it, but at $180 a tub I don't see how anyone can make those things pencil out for a herd

It pencils out when it comes to increased fertility

https://youtu.be/eczIt-LR-LE
 
Show me how it pencils out.. 3 heifers and 3 cows are going to eat that tub in a month.. so if I wanted to feed it to my herd of only 20ish cows, I'd be going through 4 tubs a month or nearly $500 USD x 12 = $6K per year just for lick tubs, then there's still salt, hay, vaccines, tags and all that
It absolutely doesn't pay except if you have some specific animals that need a boost.

If the typical cow you have can't make it on the feed you have, you've got the wrong type of cow. Of course every cow will do better with more feed, but that doesn't equate to more profit.
Yes, they need to be well fed before/during breeding, but they don't need to be at a BCS of 6 all year

Here's how I like a yearling (16 months or so) heifer to look


Cow in the middle of winter


Her momma in the fall, She could use some more fat but she regained it between weaning and winter


Her steer calf
 
************* said:
Nesikep said:
I don't mind if the cow loses some condition while she's milking if the calf is growing well.. as long as she regains it after weaning and is in good shape for the next one.

This year I broke down and bought a molasses/protein tub for the yearling heifers and first timers, they can use it, but at $180 a tub I don't see how anyone can make those things pencil out for a herd

It pencils out when it comes to increased fertility

Fertility is a heritable trait, around here our cows calve within one year or their gone. Branded a lot of things you post make it sound like there's a fertility issue in your herd? I mentioned this when you first came on CT, you said you had a cow AI'd five times and the bull ended up getting her bred. If you keep giving second chances and making excuses to not cull, you can end up with fertility issues. We have a favorite older cow that lost her calf May 7th. I called her bred when we were working cattle. So against my better judgment we kept her and she hasn't had a calf yet. Those big brown eyes my wife has, clouds my decision making process. So far about 98% of our sorry, mismanaged, malnourished calves make it to the trailer in their lifetime.

https://youtu.be/eczIt-LR-LE
 
************* said:
Nesikep said:
I don't mind if the cow loses some condition while she's milking if the calf is growing well.. as long as she regains it after weaning and is in good shape for the next one.

This year I broke down and bought a molasses/protein tub for the yearling heifers and first timers, they can use it, but at $180 a tub I don't see how anyone can make those things pencil out for a herd

It pencils out when it comes to increased fertility

https://youtu.be/eczIt-LR-LE

Interesting video, thanks.
 
True Grit Farms said:
Caustic Burno said:
True Grit Farms said:
Good nutrition definitely plays a major role in weaning weights. My calves are looking and growing great but that should change by June 1st. We're in a bad drought and the oats, ryegrass and clover is beginning to play out. But I'm sure they'll all weigh between 450 and 600 Ibs in 8 months. The calves won't see any feed or supplements till we bunk train and condition them for the last 45 days.

That's a typo of 450 at 8 months right?

Nope that's just telling it like it is for our spring born calves. I have 10 calves from heifers that weigh less 900 lbs. I breed my heifers early trying to keep them on the smaller side once they mature. Our fall calves will be 75 to 100 lbs larger because we supplement them. But they won't net anymore money, 450 to 550 lbs is the sweet spot to sell calves around here. We're finally getting our commercial cattle where we want them. CB, you know the deal, it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep that matters.

I agree 450 is the sweet spot on weight to sell.
Just needs to happen at 6 months IMO, that's a 70 pound calf at birth putting on two pounds a day is a realistic ADG.
 
From Drovers
"Typically, for those producers enrolled in the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association's CHAPS program, young nursing calves gain approximately 2.5 pounds per day on pasture. However, once those calves are weaned, the questions have fewer answers.".
This data has been put out numerous times the cow is loosing some condition growing the calf.
This is where the numbers come in record keeping the cow must wean a calf with her peer group while loosing minimum BCS.
Easy keeper versus hard,it's cheaper to keep the better cow.
I run commercial crossbred cows so hybrid vigor is going to put more growth on a calf. Any cow I have that can't put 2 lbs ADG on a calf I need a better cow.
 
Red Bull Breeder said:
Grandpa always said you couldn't starve a profit out of anything, Dad said that was true up till you fed the profit out of them.

Some where in the middle is the sweet spot. Which might mean you don't have the biggest cows or heaviest weaned calves. Profit is more important then what they say about you at the coffee shop
 

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