I was told not to keep first year heifers, sell everything..

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leboeuf

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Well, just got through our first calving season with 11 bulls, 5 heifers and 2 deaths. In wanting to grow the herd due to ample space I was told by a couple of "buddies" not to keep first year calfs out of these heifers.... I'm looking for more reasons why this could be a bad thing? I'm only interested in keeping the new heifer calfs.... thxs
 

cmf1

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I asked this question a short while back and I think this url brings you to the post.

http://cattletoday.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=57336&start=0#p661873

What I got from it was that some people feel like it takes longer for a first calf off of a first timer to develop.
I've got one heifer this year off of a first time heifer that I'm thinking I will keep as replacement.
For me it's down to "what is she developing into?" I like the bull, I like the cow. The calf was way small when it was born. That calf now at about nine weeks is probably the most vigorous of my crop and is growing very nicely.
It makes sense to me that if I put all that I wanted into her breeding wise, and she's healthy, why get rid of her?
(Thank You Knersie)
But if I do get rid of her, it won't be because she's a first off of a first. It'll be because I screwed up on the design end of the deal.
By the way, I may be wrong.
 

hillsdown

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novaman":2p5h5286 said:
I keep several heifers out of first-calvers every year.

Dairy the way we/you do it, you can always rely on your fresh heifers DHI records of which gives their BCA's.. I think it is a little/tons more to go on than beef has right now, as well as that we classify the animals each lactation also. Plus you AI most of your herd as well so your genetics are very diversified.

That being said I really think it depends on the animal and if you think it's a keeper even though out of a heifer than it just might be one.
 

mnmtranching

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Show us a pic of these calves. I will give an honest answer.
If the heifer calves look good and meet your approval, you should keep them.
 

Angus Cowman

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if you just got thru calving you have no idea if these calves are suitable for replacements IMO
I never even look at keeping a hfr til they are 5-6 months then I start picking when they are about 8-9 months and make my final selections when they are 11-12 months
JMO
 

bigag03

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Another thing to consider is the cost comparison. In most parts of the country right now, with corn prices up and cattle prices down, it will be much more profitable (or less money lost) to sell the calves at weaning then use that money towards purchasing bred replacements (or maybe even pairs). You will be buying cows that will calve next year instead of two years from now and you won't have the feed cost in developing heifers.

Your situation could be different; only you know your operation well enough to make the final call.
 

dun

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Strictly addrssing the heifers form heifers, they may grow a bit slower to yearling or 2 year olds but if you've done your selection right they should be the best genetics on the farm. By the time they calve the second time you can;t tell the difference between cows that started as first calves calves and those that came from older cows.
 

hillsdown

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dun":1idl2sc8 said:
Strictly addrssing the heifers form heifers, they may grow a bit slower to yearling or 2 year olds but if you've done your selection right they should be the best genetics on the farm. By the time they calve the second time you can;t tell the difference between cows that started as first calves calves and those that came from older cows.

Right and the main reason dairy is so different is because we feed the calves thus they get the same milk they would from any cow be it heifer or 7yr old cow.

I've kept them and have regretted a few, but in most cases they are my future herd that will be improved genetically and further advance my goal as a producer.
 

Aaron

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leboeuf":bhy62mcp said:
Well, just got through our first calving season with 11 bulls, 5 heifers and 2 deaths. In wanting to grow the herd due to ample space I was told by a couple of "buddies" not to keep first year calfs out of these heifers.... I'm looking for more reasons why this could be a bad thing? I'm only interested in keeping the new heifer calfs.... thxs

It's a load of BS. There are good first-timers and not so good. Keep the good ones, ship the rest. As dun said, they should be the best genetics in your herd. :cowboy:
 

3waycross

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Aaron":15ehu7g5 said:
leboeuf":15ehu7g5 said:
Well, just got through our first calving season with 11 bulls, 5 heifers and 2 deaths. In wanting to grow the herd due to ample space I was told by a couple of "buddies" not to keep first year calfs out of these heifers.... I'm looking for more reasons why this could be a bad thing? I'm only interested in keeping the new heifer calfs.... thxs

It's a load of BS. There are good first-timers and not so good. Keep the good ones, ship the rest. As dun said, they should be the best genetics in your herd. :cowboy:

I agree with Aaron only I would add take a look at your cow families and add replacements from the proven producers. The rest are just looking for an excuse to get shipped down the road. Even if you do this you still need to keep only the best.
 

jerry27150

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our vet is 80 years old & has his own large herd. he tells everyone that the heifers out of your first calf heifers will make the best momma cows. i think one reason is the first calf heifer will produce a little less milk & her heifer calf will develop more milk cells & less fat cells. i have bought some heifers that were great looking bc they had been raised on grain & they never could raise a good calf. works the same if a cow has to much too much milk, the calf will have more fat cells
 

cypressfarms

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I've studied my herd in great detail since 2005 (data wise), and while a heifer's first calf almost always weans smaller than the herd average, that calf "catches up" to everyone else within a couple of years as Dun suggests. I'd have no problems keeping heifers from heifers, but as everyone else is saying: judge each calf on it's own merits, a good replacement could come from a heifer; so could a bad one.
 

Wewild

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Aaron":siewrfb5 said:
As dun said, they should be the best genetics in your herd. :cowboy:

Aaron or Dun,

I don't understand. Please explain how this would be the case.
 

dun

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Wewild":2ousxkzh said:
Aaron":2ousxkzh said:
As dun said, they should be the best genetics in your herd. :cowboy:

Aaron or Dun,

I don't understand. Please explain how this would be the case.

Pretty simple. You kept the heifer that is calving because of her quality, when bred to the properly selected bull the calf should be an improvement over her mother.
 

3waycross

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Here's a good example of that. Her mother is a first calf heifer that was AI'd to one of the breeds top sires. She is sure enuf a better heifer than her mother and that was the whole point. I guarantee I am gonna keep her.

DSCF0036_edited.jpg
 

Wewild

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dun":y3pz4xqk said:
Wewild":y3pz4xqk said:
Aaron":y3pz4xqk said:
As dun said, they should be the best genetics in your herd. :cowboy:

Aaron or Dun,

I don't understand. Please explain how this would be the case.

Pretty simple. You kept the heifer that is calving because of her quality, when bred to the properly selected bull the calf should be an improvement over her mother.

I thought the bull might have something to do it with it. Some folks don't do it that way. Some folks wait for the second calf if it is a keeper and take the cash on the first one. Some folks don't AI. Some folks say your a loser for retaining heifers at all. I guess it comes down to which way you can or want to manage your herd. Not to say any way would be right for all.
 
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leboeuf

leboeuf

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Thank you all for the valued input....

Since this is our first calving season ever, I think most of what we droped has the "potential" to be better. We elected to buy a nicely bred register bull from Express Ranches in Yukon, OK. The 20 girls were commerical stock bought from the same lot/herd. I like the idea of waiting to see how they develop and make an educated decision, but eduction is very limited :dunce: . It would have been nice to have all the calves hit around the same time to compare to each other.

Still working out the kinks.....
 

Ryder

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3waycross":2da98ron said:
Here's a good example of that. Her mother is a first calf heifer that was AI'd to one of the breeds top sires. She is sure enuf a better heifer than her mother and that was the whole point. I guarantee I am gonna keep her.

DSCF0036_edited.jpg
I would too. :nod:
 

Barbaracandler

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I have a 7 mo old bull calf that cannot get up , I have to pull his tail and touch his ear toget the front up, any one know why this is ? He did this the 1sr 3 mo of his life and was great for 3mo, now he is doing the same thing for about a mo now, is there any thing you know of that I can do for him, I am not a breeder just my pets, him and Moma.
Please help ? Thank He is a Brangus,
I am new on here hope I did this right :(

[email protected]
 

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