How much is to much BW

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cypressfarms

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Two other points of consideration:

1. Breed - Brangus bulls will sire a calf that is born more streamlined at the head and shoulders than a hereford for example. So IMO, if I were buying a bull I would consider the breed of bull when looking at weight.

2. Location where born - It's a proven fact that the more north you go, the heavier the calves weigh. Also spring calves will weigh more than fall calves. So a fall calved bull in the south weighing 100 pounds could be trouble waiting...
 

dun

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cypressfarms":20hk7qi5 said:
Also spring calves will weigh more than fall calves. So a fall calved bull in the south weighing 100 pounds could be trouble waiting...

Locally because of our (usually) milder winters, late summer and early fall calves are typically heavier then spring calves. The significantly higher nutrition on pasture offsets the affects of the winter cold.
 

mnmtranching

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You will gain on total pounds of calves raised when the birth weights are held below 85 pounds on cows and 70 pounds on heifers.
 

Willow Springs

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You will gain on total pounds of calves raised when the birth weights are held below 85 pounds on cows and 70 pounds on heifers.

Would be nice to know what the variables in that statement are. It sounds like you are quoting a study that was done, and they were probably using smaller cows. More info please.

Looking back at my records since I have had my own herd (16 years) I haven't ever assisted a cow of any age (not including heifers)unless it was a malpresentation (about 2%). Our calving related death loss was about 1% due to those malpresentations. We have had some pretty big calves in that time, but as i said earlier in the thread a 100 lb calf from a 1500 lb cow is the same as a 85 lb calf from a 1300 lb cow. As a general rule I can't see how the 85 pound calf will catch the 100 pounder; doesn't usually happen, that's why the comment earlier in the thread from ?? that the show cattle tend to have bigger BW; faster growing and bigger mature weights.
 
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redfornow

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Elder Statesman":3tra5dxw said:
P606 and Pure Gold and had some birthweight issues. This cow has them both in her pedigree.

I have alot of 606 in my herd. Bred right you will not have a problem. Bred wrong. Well you get the 115 pounder...
606 and pure gold bring alot to the table. But stacking them on top of one another is just beggin for trouble.


On a side not I weigh every calf and I have had the 55-60 calf's beat the 100 pounders many times and have this year.
A good milking victor based momma cow with weigh about 1000-1200 mature and wean a 650 B&W steer every year....
I have the numbers to back it up. I dont mind bigger BW numbers (have averaged around 100 this year??)
Without a pull??? But I dont see the advantage of the bigger calf?

At least not in my world.
 

cypressfarms

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Although I farm in a different climate than most of the country, my views on calf birthweight are:

The smaller the better (I wouldn't want anything in the 50 pound range), and for one simple reason. How many live calves does it take to equal one dead calf? For me, a cow calfer, it's simply not worth the risk of having a bull that throws heavy calves. Even with seasoned pro cows, a 65 pound calf can be born much quicker if there are presentation problems. (Or any other problems for that matter). When you start inching your weight up to 100 you increase the chance of calving trouble whether it be malrepresentations or any other problems.
 

Willow Springs

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On a side not I weigh every calf and I have had the 55-60 calf's beat the 100 pounders many times and have this year.
A good milking victor based momma cow with weigh about 1000-1200 mature and wean a 650 B&W steer every year....
I have the numbers to back it up. I dont mind bigger BW numbers (have averaged around 100 this year??)
Without a pull??? But I dont see the advantage of the bigger calf?

As I said everyone will have the story of the little calf that weaned big. My guess would be that if you averaged weaning weights of the top and bottom end of the BW spectrum the bigger BW calves would have more WW than the small. Now those heavier BW calves would probably be out of dams with a little more size as well which leads us down another path for discussion.

In my world the 55-60 pounder is a dink and will never catch the 100 pounder unless the bigger calf gets sick or the cow doesn't have enough milk. I have never (knock on wood) had to pull a calf out of a cow in 16 years that was too big, and haven't lost any due to hard calvings. But I don't have any 1000-1200 lb cows either; like I said big cow usually equals bigger BW.
 

cypressfarms

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Willow Springs":2ps1k2cs said:
I have never (knock on wood) had to pull a calf out of a cow in 16 years that was too big, and haven't lost any due to hard calvings. But I don't have any 1000-1200 lb cows either; like I said big cow usually equals bigger BW.

Willow, how big are your cows? 1300 to 1400?

Everyone has to manage their own operation, but a 1400 pound cow compared to a 1000 pound cow is 40% bigger. That means 40% more food/forage needs. Is that calf that she has going to wean 40% more in weight? For me, the ideal cow weight is 900 - 1100, hence the reason I prefer lower birth weights. It's not so much about the "race" to see who's going to catch who - it's about if I'm going to make a profit or not.
 
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redfornow

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Yep I made that statement having only raise a couple of calves so I have no idea what I am talking about... :cowboy: :dunce:

I have found that milk plays a bigger role in calf 205 weights than BW or EPD's
Now if you creep heavy (i dont) or retain (i dont) or precondition (mostly dont) than I can see how bigger growth numbers could help, but in my experience....

And just so you know, I really am more interested in the shape of the calf than its BW...
But, I have found no advantage to having an extreme.
(maybe you avoid the dink? but thats all)
 

Herefords.US

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redfornow":hn7wnhr4 said:
Elder Statesman":hn7wnhr4 said:
P606 and Pure Gold and had some birthweight issues. This cow has them both in her pedigree.

606 and pure gold bring alot to the table. But stacking them on top of one another is just beggin for trouble.

How about stacking Pure Gold and Keynote? :lol2:

Then how about stacking P606 on top of that stack? (Something I'm considering!)

Regarding calf size, I've found that the smaller calves at birth generally also end up weighing less at weaning. Since I haven't experienced any of those extremely large calves in my herd, I don't know if the reverse is also true. I know I'd be very happy if all of my calves weighed around 80-85 pounds at birth.

Speaking of Pure Gold, I just got my calving report from Ultimate Genetics where they implanted some frozen embryos of mine, Pure Gold X Achiever daughter, into some recip cows in Louisiana. I'm actually a little disappointed because the BW of the Pure Gold bull calves were so low. Results were: 2 Bull calves, BW of 76 and 65 lb., 2 Heifer calves BW 80 lb. each. From the same recip herd, I got 2 Moler calves (Moler X Harland bred 501 daughter). Bull calf BW @ 90 lb and a heifer calf BW @ 78 lb.

George
 
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redfornow

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Herefords.US":2jwia31x said:
How about stacking Pure Gold and Keynote? :lol2:

Then how about stacking P606 on top of that stack? (Something I'm considering!)

George



You are on your own.....
 
A

Anonymous

LFF":2i4bify7 said:
I was going to stay out of this , but could not.

The reason someone would want one that big can be explained with few words.

SHOWCATTLE BREEDERS


I would have to agree. Ppl are trying to get that "bone" in there which comes w/ a downside: high BW and an upside: amazing calves. We have several 110+ calves (yes we are pullin' some of em) and for us the upside outweights the downside! We don't lose many, but then again we have a barn with a nice setup especially for calving.

Outside of our "clubby" herd we obviously do not use these High BW club sires. For these we like 90's or below. For heifers we like to use angus..generally angus doesn't throw much bone, therefore another reason for lower BW.

It all comes down to person opinion...to each be their own...whatever makes your world spin :nod:
 

4CTophand

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Herefords.US":brulehpi said:
LFF":brulehpi said:
The reason someone would want one that big can be explained with few words.

SHOWCATTLE BREEDERS

I have never seen a show cattle jockey in the production cattle business A production cattleman can show a calf , But a Show cattle jockey cant run a production unit.

I have been a judge at a few shows this year and as a production cattleman I look at these shoebox cattle with legs and think ---I am glad they aren't in my herd-- these poor people-- they have no idea that a show animal should reflect a usable animal for the pasture.
I laugh when I am at a show and the conversation turns to ideas like --- " we use that herd sire because he has good hair"
T
 
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Anonymous

[quote " we use that herd sire because he has good hair"
T[/quote]

Lol. Maybe for show, but surely not for your herd. And if a person is simply breeding for hair, I suggest they find a new occupation or do some more studying ;-)

What a good post
:nod:
 

yme

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Someone said it earlier but I'm to lazy to go back and find it. I work an 8-5 day job and can't always be around when I need to be so for me a low BW is what I'm looking for. I know I don't get the WW I could get but I think one "extra" live calf more then pays for my loss. I have on average 1300-1400lbs cows and I look for BW under 80lbs with 75 being my target weight.
 

turning grass into beef

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not to hijack this thread but... Breeding for hair is not always a bad thing. I you select sires that will add hair to your calves for the sole reason of showing then the cattle business is simply a hobby for you. I hope you enjoy it.
If a good hair coat is one of the many traits that you look for in a sire because it will be of economic benefit to your ranch then I would agree. This opinion coming from someone who for the last week has been enduring daytime highs of -25 celcius and nightime lows of -35 celcius (somtimes with the wind chill it has been down to -50 celcius).
In order to add to the discussion regarding the original question, it depends on the size of your cows. If your average birthweight is 110 pounds and you help less than 1% of your cows calve and all of the calves get up and suck on their own then good for you. As long as your ranch is profitable under this type of management then more power to you.
Our mature cows average around 1400 pounds. We only weigh the purebred calves and they will average between 90 and 95 pounds off mature cows (less off 2 year old heifers).
P.S. We help less than 1% of our cows calve.
 

Willow Springs

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Willow, how big are your cows? 1300 to 1400?

Everyone has to manage their own operation, but a 1400 pound cow compared to a 1000 pound cow is 40% bigger. That means 40% more food/forage needs. Is that calf that she has going to wean 40% more in weight? For me, the ideal cow weight is 900 - 1100, hence the reason I prefer lower birth weights. It's not so much about the "race" to see who's going to catch who - it's about if I'm going to make a profit or not.

I agree with what you are saying on cow size; if you check my last posts i have been saying that BW is and should be matched to cow weight. A 1500 lb cow will have a 105 lb calf without trouble (7% of her bodyweight); a 1000 lb cow should only be having 70 lb calves. Now if I have a 60 lb calf from my 1500 lb cow that would be equivalnet to a 40 lb calf on a 1000 lb cow. Now tell me do your 40 lb calves grow as well as your 60 lb calves? I know that generally my 60 lb calves don't grow as well as my 100 lb calves. Now I wouldn't be searching out bulls at the top of the BW range because that could be trouble; but i don't have a problem using bulls in the 90-100 lb range on cows. That may be 55-65 lbs for you.

I also agree that smaller cows are more profitable from birth to weaning; though your 40% statement isn't quite true; you need to calculate needs using a metabolic weight not true weight. After that weaning period the growthier calves may be more profitable (or not) depending on cost of feed resources, price per lb of calf and marketing opportunities. You can turn over the smaller calves more quickly, but then you need to source in more calves. This increases other costs associated with bringing in new calves. The bigger calves give you a longer growing period; maybe you don't have to bring in more? Anyway that's not what this thread is about.
 

Keren

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Just a question, those of you who calve in the colder areas, do you think a higher birth weight adds survivability to the calves? I know with our goats we are moving away from Australian Rangeland and cashmere to Sth Af. Boers and Angoras because they have heavier kids, and more of them survive. The tiny guys just cant keep themselves warm.
 

rocket2222

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KNERSIE":3jxx9g3p said:
dun":3jxx9g3p said:
Cow or heifer I look for anything up to 85-87 pounds for a calfs BW. I prefer 70-75, just seems if the calf is that little bit smaller and there is a presentation problem that's it's easier for the cow to have the calf or for me to reach in and manipulate it.

Not even mentioning how many fewer presentation problems you'll have with smaller calves.


The AHA does not include abnormal presentations in any of their calculations for calving ease or calving difficulty. While its pretty obvious that a larger calf would cause more problems birthing when backwards or upside down calf, etc. They say there is no reliable data to show that a larger calf is more likely to have a abnormal presentation than a small calf.
 

randiliana

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Keren":12l9by3c said:
Just a question, those of you who calve in the colder areas, do you think a higher birth weight adds survivability to the calves? I know with our goats we are moving away from Australian Rangeland and cashmere to Sth Af. Boers and Angoras because they have heavier kids, and more of them survive. The tiny guys just cant keep themselves warm.

Yes, I do. I don't like 60lb calves because I find that if they DON'T get up and going right away, they are the ones you end up toting in to the hot box or house because they freeze up too fast. All the 'porch calves' I can think of off hand were under 80 lb calves. It isn't too often that we tote a 90+ lb calf into the house. That, pluse those little ones simply don't match the bigger calf come weaning time. A bigger calf takes longer to cool off, and seems to recover easier with less added heat.

Our cows average in the 1150-1250 lb range. Our avg BW is in the 90-95 lb range year in and year out. We assist a very small percentage, most of these will be malpresentations, and a lot of those are under 95 lbs. I don't consider 95 lbs big. I expect our cows to be able to handle 8-9% of their weight. If they can't they better throw a growthy smaller calf, or they go down the road.

I am not afraid of a bull with a 95-105 lb BW. I don't like to go a lot higher than that, just to be on the safe side. We have used bulls over that with out problems, however. As of right now our herd sires have BW's of BA-100 lbs, BA - 100 lbs, RA - 92 lbs and HH - 95 lbs. We do need to pick up a heifer bull, as I don't feel comfortable with any of those bulls on our heifers.

Both bulls we used on heifers last spring were 100 lb act BW. But having used them on cows the previous 2 years, I was comfortable using them on heifers. One averaged 79 lb BW and the other 84 lbs.
 

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