Heifer Breeding Question

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TheBullLady

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I'd like your opinions on this situation please!

I've got an "almost" yearling heifer (she'll be 1 year on April 24th) that got in with the bull a week ago... and consequently got bred. She's approx. 900 lbs, and the bull is a "calving ease" bull Would you abort her and rebred her in two months, or leave her?
 

la4angus

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I would let her be. 900 lb now she should be at least a Min.1100 to 1150 lb when she calves. Calving ease bull, she should have no problems. Just don't feed her real heavy during the last tri-mester.
 

dun

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The only part I don't quite agree with is the last trimester feeding. You can't starve a small calf out of a heifer. Keep her gaining but not getting fat. Shorting them on nutrition that last couple of months causes them to be slower breeding back and can create a weak calf syndrome.
Most of our heifers calve at 850-900 lbs with no problems. Just remember that calving ease is a relative thing. BW (physical size) in smaller heifers is just as important a part of calving ease as any of the other traits that contribute to calving ease.

dun


la4angus":blrhgh5k said:
I would let her be. 900 lb now she should be at least a Min.1100 to 1150 lb when she calves. Calving ease bull, she should have no problems. Just don't feed her real heavy during the last tri-mester.
 

la4angus

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Dun
I think you missed the point. I said "don't feed her real heavy during the last trimester". I never mentioned starving a small calf out of her. The cow has to have adequate nutrition to produce a strong, healthy calf.
 

DRB

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I appreciate the info on last trimester feeding...that low feed intake will determine fertility/re-breeding is interesting...
 

dun

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The "starving" part was for emphasis. Too often I see people cut back on a heifers feed that last trimester in fear of a big calf and end up with either a weak calf, a cow that won't breed back, or both.

dun

la4angus":1i2z134k said:
Dun
I think you missed the point. I said "don't feed her real heavy during the last trimester". I never mentioned starving a small calf out of her. The cow has to have adequate nutrition to produce a strong, healthy calf.
 
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TheBullLady

TheBullLady

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This subject has been hotly debated between a fellow breeder and myself.

A few years ago Texas A & M did a study where they fed a bunch of bred heifers the last trimester.. I don't remember the feed program, but they were fed more than a rational breeder would. They discovered no more instances of dyscoxia in the heifers than the group that was not fed, and determined the birth weights on the calves were only 1 -2 lbs different than the "non fed" group.

A friend of mine got a line on a bunch of cheap feed last year, and filled a self feeder for her heifers. Now this is a registered breeder that AI's with low birth weight / calving ease bulls. She lost a cow /calf, two calves, and got to pull a few as well.

We do feed our young bred heifers, but they are rationed!
 

la4angus

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DRB":djx6k2ib said:
I appreciate the info on last trimester feeding...that low feed intake will determine fertility/re-breeding is interesting...
You are missing the point. The point is to not to over feed in the last trimester. Low feed intake will not make a cow or heifer more fertile and rebreeed faster. The cow needs enough nutrients to maintain a thrifty condition and produce a strong, healthy calf. To much extra feed will produce a calf that is to big at birth and could cause calving problems, as the bulllady mentioned in her previous post. If you want to pour the feed to them do so after she calves. Again; Feed enough to Maintain a Strong, Healthy, Thrifty Cow that can produce a Strong, Healthy calf.
Remember that the light birthweight bull contributes only 1/2 of the genes of the calf. The cows can contribute more than 1/2 of the calves birth weight due to genes, environment and nutrition.
 

Beefy

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as always stay away from extremes. if you over feed a cow or heifer you are asking for problems with calving and rebreeding. if you underfeed them you are asking for weak calves, slower breeding, retained placenta, you name it you might get it.
Studies have shown over and over again that 3rd trimester feeding doesnt make much of a difference in calf birthweight (1-2 lbs) which is interesting since a calf gains most of its weight in the last trimester. i'd rather feed a cow as usual and risk pulling a calf than having a weak calf and other problems associated with underfeeding. i doubt 1-2 lbs will make that much of a difference, but it could. i'm more concerned with the structure of the calf (big head, big hips, etc) than the weight of hte calf.
Heifers especially need adequate nutrition and since she is bred to a calving ease bull she will probably be alright anyway. 900 lbs is good size.
 

shorty

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Are you sure she's bred ,just because you saw him breed her doesn't mean it took , watch her about 3 weeks from when you thought she was bred ,If she comes into heat again she wasn't bred , it doesn't always take the first time. even if she is bred I would chance keeping it you'll need to have a place to work with her in the cold next winter when she calves
 

Linda

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dun":y7rp2igl said:
The "starving" part was for emphasis. Too often I see people cut back on a heifers feed that last trimester in fear of a big calf and end up with either a weak calf, a cow that won't breed back, or both.

dun

la4angus":y7rp2igl said:
Dun
I think you missed the point. I said "don't feed her real heavy during the last trimester". I never mentioned starving a small calf out of her. The cow has to have adequate nutrition to produce a strong, healthy calf.

I agree with you, Dun. Far better to continue with a sound feeding program and have a live, healthy pair.

Overfeeding a heifer at any point in her life can cause permanent fat deposits in her udder. An overly fat cow of any age can also experience narrowing of the birth canal due to fat deposits, possibly contributing to dystocia.

Cutting back on a heifer's or cow's feed in the last trimester simply to try for a smaller birthweight calf is a BIG mistake. Numerous university studies from around the country have proven that to be a foolish and futile course of action.
 

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