Heifer weight before breeding

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BK9954

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I have some heifers that are about 800 lbs. They are black angus and hrreford. The actual birth date is unknown. I was told they were 6 months old when I bought them in October but have had no contact with the seller since. How big should they be before I breed them. My neighbor uses jersey bulls to breed his charolais heifers for low birthweight but I was thinking using a mini hereford bull for the first calf with the angus. I want to see if they will produce black baldies. Any advice?
 

Rafter S

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The smart people say heifers are ready to breed when they are at about 60% of their mature weight. I typically put a bull with mine when they're 15 months old, so they'll have their first calf with they're about 24 months old. In your case that would mean putting a bull in this summer (July or so). If they're at 800 pounds now I'd think they would certainly be ready by then, and maybe sooner.

I don't know anything about mini Herefords or their suitability for heifers.
 

shortybreeder

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Mini Herefords would definitely be safe, but not at all productive or profitable. Not sure if this is your hobby, or if you want to make this an actual business, but unless you want the first year to be essentially a waste of time and money, I would avoid the mini Hereford. Only reasons for using them are if you want to drastically decrease frame size or your goal is to produce miniature breeding stock for hobby farmers. If they are 800lbs right now, you should be fine with most full-sized Herefords.
 

Dave

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I shoot for heifers weighing 800 to 850 when I breed them. There are lots of calving ease bulls out there. I wouldn't breed to a mini unless you have a market for those calves. There are a ton of options for breeding heifer that are better than a mini.
 

dun

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If thee 800 is a scale weight aand not an estimate, I would just turn the bull in with them whenever was correct for my desired calving season.
 

Son of Butch

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Rafter S":wgssu91q said:
The smart people say heifers are ready to breed when they are at about 60% of their mature weight. I typically put a bull with mine when they're 15 months old, so they'll have their first calf when they're about 24 months old.
1250 lbs x 60% = 750 lbs
1350 x 60% = 810 lbs
1400 x .60 = 840 lbs

We breed at 14-16 months aiming to calve at 1-11 to 2-1m
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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The only reason I was going with mini herefords is I didnt want too much trouble calving them. This is my first run at breeding cattle and with the price I am nervous about loosing one. I plan on trying to make money with them eventually. Kind of my retirment plan when I cant work my regular job anymore.
 

shortybreeder

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BK9954":1krk0m2l said:
The only reason I was going with mini herefords is I didnt want too much trouble calving them. This is my first run at breeding cattle and with the price I am nervous about loosing one. I plan on trying to make money with them eventually. Kind of my retirment plan when I cant work my regular job anymore.
Well I'm not going to recommend using them, but if you do decide to go that route then you are gonna need to sell them early on when they are about 100lbs or so, and hope that the buyers think they are just really young full-sized herefords. Don't keep them until weaning or the buyers will figure it out.
 

Big Cheese

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shortybreeder":3m6wdooq said:
BK9954":3m6wdooq said:
The only reason I was going with mini herefords is I didnt want too much trouble calving them. This is my first run at breeding cattle and with the price I am nervous about loosing one. I plan on trying to make money with them eventually. Kind of my retirment plan when I cant work my regular job anymore.
Well I'm not going to recommend using them, but if you do decide to go that route then you are gonna need to sell them early on when they are about 100lbs or so, and hope that the buyers think they are just really young full-sized herefords. Don't keep them until weaning or the buyers will figure it out.

There's way to many other calving ease bulls you could use instead of a mini. You said your neighbor uses a Jersey....then there is Angus, Longhorn, Corriente just to name a few. If it's worrying you about the possibility of losing a heifer then I would use a Longhorn or Corriente. Probably would be best to use a Corriente because they are solid color so the calves should come out solid color. That way you won't lose anything at the sale barn because of the chrome that comes with a Longhorn. They still wont grow as good as full beef calves (but will grow better then a mini) but you should have a 100% calf crop with them and not have to worry about losing a cow. Still a possibility no matter what you breed them too but you would have a better chance of not losing one with a Corriente or Longhorn. Just my 2 cents.
 

Son of Butch

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Big Cheese":3i2etkud said:
BK9954":3i2etkud said:
The only reason I was going with mini herefords is I didnt want too much trouble calving them.

If it's worrying you about the possibility of losing a heifer then I would use a Longhorn or Corriente. Probably would be best to use a Corriente because they are solid color so the calves should come out solid color. They still wont grow as good as full beef calves (but will grow better then a mini) but you should have a 100% calf crop with them and not have to worry about losing a cow. Just my 2 cents.
IF you use a corriente or longhorn bull, then you should have page wire fencing when calving. ;-)
Calves so small you might lose one when they shoot out of the cows all the way to the neighbor's yard.
 

osj_99_25

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I started my herd two years ago. I have angus heifers and ran them with a full size polled hereford bull. The 5 that have calved already had no problems. I bought another eight angus heifers and plan on using the same bull. They are producing some really nice baldies.
 

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