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Heifers bred back in 4 months?

BK9954

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Read on an article online that first calf heifers dont cycle for 90-120 days normally. Longer then older cows. My heifers are averaging 4-5 months to be bred back. Is that about right with everyone else? Had one open 9 months. Thought she was bred. She is at the auction tonight waiting for the sale in the morning. I have been maintaining feed and we have had enough rain this year to keep the pastures going. All of these heifers I put on a restricted diet of hay and mineral the last 3 months of pregnancy. After birthing I fed high grade feed to get them to catch back up.
 

Waterway65

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I expect mine to rebreed right with the older cows and they do. It's mostly meeting their nutritional needs.
 

farmerjan

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I don't really believe that they take 3-4 months to cycle. I calved out 8 heifers this fall, angus x. 7 calved in a 3 week period and 1 was 30 days behind. I have seen heats on all but the last one, 4 of the 7 have been in heat twice already and the bull just went in and will be in there approx 7 weeks. I want all the calves on the ground the next time in a 30 day window again. The last one actually made it a 45 day window , but she was a little younger/smaller when she got bred and she is out of a cow family that is a little slow to mature but raise real nice calves and last a long time in the herd.
If they've got good feed/grass and good mineral, most of mine will cycle in 60 days or less. Most of our cows will cycle in 35 to 40 days after calving if the grass is good...
 

BK9954

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Caustic Burno":30sv2vww said:
One that doesn't produce a calf within 12 months of calving grows wheels here.
When the vet palpated the one that was open 9 months he said "shes open for a reason", straight from there she went to the auction. Her first calf was great but I am not going to lose money on a cow that wont breed back. When the rest bred back and she calved 4 months before they did thats one I am not going to keep feeding.
 

dun

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Remind me to never check anything about reproduction from virginia tech
 

Aaron

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BK9954":37raoh4b said:
Read on an article online that first calf heifers dont cycle for 90-120 days normally. Longer then older cows. My heifers are averaging 4-5 months to be bred back. Is that about right with everyone else? Had one open 9 months. Thought she was bred. She is at the auction tonight waiting for the sale in the morning. I have been maintaining feed and we have had enough rain this year to keep the pastures going. All of these heifers I put on a restricted diet of hay and mineral the last 3 months of pregnancy. After birthing I fed high grade feed to get them to catch back up.

I see your problem...
 

Stocker Steve

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Lots of data out there, that heifers take a couple more weeks to come into heat compared to cows.
It is very expensive to cull heifers, so optimizers breed their heifers one month before they breed the cows.
I have no problems with breeding and rebreeding wf heifers on the same schedule are cows - - but the big heavy milking simi, south devon or terminal angus type heifer crosses can be an issue.
We calve out a lot of heifers so I expect one or two to fall out. We just eat that kind.
 

farmerjan

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Although I have been in Va alot of years, I do not agree with alot of their studies. Listen to it all, just make my own decisions based on more than one set of "studies". They tried the Jersey/Holstein dairy crosses as THE WAY TO GO and ruined the jersey herd they had there. Nuff said... Anyway, I don't put much stock in their studies anymore. If we had heifers that didn't come in heat for 90-120 days we would be so far behind that it wouldn't be worth keeping any cattle. Due to the rented pastures we use, right now we are doing very little AI. The cows start calving say in March, bulls go in by mid may so about half are 60 days fresh, many are 30 days. They all get bred and next year they are on the same schedule. Fall groups calve in sept/oct, bulls go in before Thanksgiving usually and they better be having calves again in the fall. The heifers get treated the same. This last group all calved in 3 weeks except that one. They have all had at least one heat, most 2, and the bull is in there; later than we planned but I expect them all to breed back on the next heat that the bull is there to breed them. I expect them to all breed back and calve again in 12 months. If they weren't coming into heat for at least 90 days then you are going to be up to a 13 month calving interval at least the first time....We don't do everything by the book, but do keep the best, most fertile and healthy and try to keep them on a decent mineral program. And we are a mostly grass/hay based operation. They don't get "fed" daily so it isn't the concentrates. Can't afford to have cattle that require alot of "feed" to keep them going, or to keep them breeding. CB is right, they need to calve every year or they are costing you too much. We will make an allowance for 1st calf heifers if they have dropped condition with a nice big calf on them because it's often that we have not done our part to keep her on a positive energy balance. BUT they better never get behind after that second chance. Just sold a nice char x cow, calved as heifer, big nice bull calf grew like all get out. She was a tad bit thinner, was open, went back with the next group. Bred calved and then was again open. She and her heifer went to the stockyards. Not perpetuating a problem. Have several others over the years that were open the first time, went back with the next group and have hit the mark everytime since. But we might get 1 or 2 in the spring and the fall that come up open out of 75 to 100 calving each time. That's less than 5% a year. And if it is older cows they leave, if younger we will take a look at their record then make a decision. For smaller operations that have better conditions than some places we keep cattle, it's not practical.
 

farmerjan

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Aaron":35g76scc said:
BK9954":35g76scc said:
Read on an article online that first calf heifers dont cycle for 90-120 days normally. Longer then older cows. My heifers are averaging 4-5 months to be bred back. Is that about right with everyone else? Had one open 9 months. Thought she was bred. She is at the auction tonight waiting for the sale in the morning. I have been maintaining feed and we have had enough rain this year to keep the pastures going. All of these heifers I put on a restricted diet of hay and mineral the last 3 months of pregnancy. After birthing I fed high grade feed to get them to catch back up.

I see your problem...

Have to agree with Aaron; we don't restrict diets on any preg cows or heifers unless they are roly poly fat. If anything we will start feeding a little to the heifers that are having spring calves due to coming out of the winter with usually a little less fat. If the heifers are bred to easy calving bulls, had decent size when they are bred, and have had sufficient mineral program, then feeding a little will only help them come into their milk and do better. I do not believe in the "limit feeding" to keep the calf small. You are actually causing their system to swing back and forth too much by cutting back then going at it hot and heavy so to speak. See it dairy heifers that come into the milking herd fresh and have to adjust to a "hot ration". They get all kinds of acidosis and other stuff from the microbes in their gut not being able to adjust. But I don't want them to have rolls of fat on them, just good fleshed out body and a little feed to keep up their energy and so that they don't get behind when they calve. We mostly only feed hay and mineral except for that little bit of feed a couple times a week to keep them all liking to see me and the truck come into the field. Makes finding them with a new calf easier too.
 

BK9954

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farmerjan":12hr4kgp said:
Aaron":12hr4kgp said:
BK9954":12hr4kgp said:
Read on an article online that first calf heifers dont cycle for 90-120 days normally. Longer then older cows. My heifers are averaging 4-5 months to be bred back. Is that about right with everyone else? Had one open 9 months. Thought she was bred. She is at the auction tonight waiting for the sale in the morning. I have been maintaining feed and we have had enough rain this year to keep the pastures going. All of these heifers I put on a restricted diet of hay and mineral the last 3 months of pregnancy. After birthing I fed high grade feed to get them to catch back up.

I see your problem...

Have to agree with Aaron; we don't restrict diets on any preg cows or heifers unless they are roly poly fat. If anything we will start feeding a little to the heifers that are having spring calves due to coming out of the winter with usually a little less fat. If the heifers are bred to easy calving bulls, had decent size when they are bred, and have had sufficient mineral program, then feeding a little will only help them come into their milk and do better. I do not believe in the "limit feeding" to keep the calf small. You are actually causing their system to swing back and forth too much by cutting back then going at it hot and heavy so to speak. See it dairy heifers that come into the milking herd fresh and have to adjust to a "hot ration". They get all kinds of acidosis and other stuff from the microbes in their gut not being able to adjust. But I don't want them to have rolls of fat on them, just good fleshed out body and a little feed to keep up their energy and so that they don't get behind when they calve. We mostly only feed hay and mineral except for that little bit of feed a couple times a week to keep them all liking to see me and the truck come into the field. Makes finding them with a new calf easier too.
I take them off all cubes. I feed 20% breeders cubes throughout the year but the last 3 months for the heifers I pull them to a seperate pasture with just hay and minerals. I will give them a little creep feed to get them to go where I need them if I need to pen them up but thats it.
 

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