If you were starting a new herd from scratch..

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bird dog

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I know you traditional know it all ranchers will think this is stupid but the easy way I have found to solve calving problems is to just let the heifer get bigger and more mature. For me this is letting them calve at 27 months instead of 24.
My investment to raise these girls is large and I don't want to screw it up. What I have found by doing this is way less calving problems, quicker breed backs and a first calf the equals in size and growth as the rest of the older cows instead of a 50 lb dink.
I don't like to supplement my heifers to try to get them to the right size and my forage is poor. I know this is not an issue for you folks that have lush grass and deep pockets or do AI work. I really don't have enough animals to have a "heifer" bull. My girls have to calve on their own as circumstances beyond my control (family) results in them not being checked on but once a week in many instances.
I know this isn't for everyone but simply information to consider for beginners like myself that don't have much experience pulling calves or the will to do so.

An old man that used to ranch next to me would let his heifers calve at 30 months. He would state "its a 10 year investment, why worry about six months".

In truth, what good does it to calve at 24 months if you have to cull half the heifers that don't breed back on time. Sure you will have the best most fertile cows but you will also have a large loss on the culls.

So to get to the point of this thread, If I was starting fresh with beef animals other than corrintees or longhorns I would not put the bull on them until they were 18 months.
 

C-Ranch

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We have been tossing the idea around for a few years. This year the price of hay is high, but that won't always be the case, so money isn't the motivating factor. The issue is labor. I have no problem finding people to drive tractors or swathers, but when it comes time to move cows, brand, or just work them it's always headache. Vet can come, but nobody else can or visa versa. During hunting season you can forget it. So our though is let's just put up and sale all the hay versus feeding all winter and dealing with cows even though I enjoy it.
 

Lucky

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I’m in North East Texas. I’d go with commercial Brangus or Brafords. Most likely Brangus though just because they’re usually cheaper and easier to find around here. Would run Angus and Hereford bulls on 80% of the herd and run a Brangus bull on other 20% for replacements. Another thing I’d do is plan the breeding seasons better. Probably run bulls on replacement herd to calve November- early January and herd to sell to calve from February to May 1st. Transitioning calving seasons and moving cows to calve forward or back has been the hardest and most expect thing for me as I’ve expanded. Heck if I was starting a new operation I’d probably do a lot of things differently, live and learn I guess.
 

Brute 23

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I know you traditional know it all ranchers will think this is stupid but the easy way I have found to solve calving problems is to just let the heifer get bigger and more mature. For me this is letting them calve at 27 months instead of 24.
My investment to raise these girls is large and I don't want to screw it up. What I have found by doing this is way less calving problems, quicker breed backs and a first calf the equals in size and growth as the rest of the older cows instead of a 50 lb dink.
I don't like to supplement my heifers to try to get them to the right size and my forage is poor. I know this is not an issue for you folks that have lush grass and deep pockets or do AI work. I really don't have enough animals to have a "heifer" bull. My girls have to calve on their own as circumstances beyond my control (family) results in them not being checked on but once a week in many instances.
I know this isn't for everyone but simply information to consider for beginners like myself that don't have much experience pulling calves or the will to do so.

An old man that used to ranch next to me would let his heifers calve at 30 months. He would state "its a 10 year investment, why worry about six months".

In truth, what good does it to calve at 24 months if you have to cull half the heifers that don't breed back on time. Sure you will have the best most fertile cows but you will also have a large loss on the culls.

So to get to the point of this thread, If I was starting fresh with beef animals other than corrintees or longhorns I would not put the bull on them until they were 18 months.
What? You don't want to feed your heifers, buy heifer bulls, get 80% conception rates, build a heifer pasture behind your house so you can be there asap to pull calves all to get that calf 4-6 months earlier? 😄

What will you do with all that free time?

Can't take it with you... you know.
 

Stonewall Joe

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So moderate and muggy area with good grass growth?

Start with some mature breds or pairs. White, reds, smokes or silvers might sell good down there.

Use RA or Red Simmental mamas with a MG or Char bull for terminals.
you want black calves with a little ear in this part of the country, other colors unless tiger stripes will be discounted, BWF is ok
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Well, if you don't calve your heifers at 24 months of age, you set yourself up for a different calving "season" for your older heifers. I do have 2 calving seasons - Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct.
For me, I do not have a lot of $$ invested in raising my heifers to a proper size for breeding. I do NOT have a calving issue at all - and I push my heifers, expecting them to have a 75-90# calf unassisted. I have a herd of females that have all been bred and raised to be calving machines.
Sorry, but I don't get it.
I read some research that said if you calve them out at 30+ months of age - using same sires - heifers same BCS - the 30 month old heifers will have more dystocia than the 24 month old heifers. Their pelvic area has calcified and do not have the ability to "stretch" like a heifer's. Once a heifer has stretched thru calving, she will permanently be stretched out. Probably not a problem with 27 month olds.
 

faster horses

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I know you traditional know it all ranchers will think this is stupid but the easy way I have found to solve calving problems is to just let the heifer get bigger and more mature. For me this is letting them calve at 27 months instead of 24.
My investment to raise these girls is large and I don't want to screw it up. What I have found by doing this is way less calving problems, quicker breed backs and a first calf the equals in size and growth as the rest of the older cows instead of a 50 lb dink.
I don't like to supplement my heifers to try to get them to the right size and my forage is poor. I know this is not an issue for you folks that have lush grass and deep pockets or do AI work. I really don't have enough animals to have a "heifer" bull. My girls have to calve on their own as circumstances beyond my control (family) results in them not being checked on but once a week in many instances.
I know this isn't for everyone but simply information to consider for beginners like myself that don't have much experience pulling calves or the will to do so.

An old man that used to ranch next to me would let his heifers calve at 30 months. He would state "its a 10 year investment, why worry about six months".

In truth, what good does it to calve at 24 months if you have to cull half the heifers that don't breed back on time. Sure you will have the best most fertile cows but you will also have a large loss on the culls.

So to get to the point of this thread, If I was starting fresh with beef animals other than corrintees or longhorns I would not put the bull on them until they were 18 months.
You are correct. What you are doing isn't for everyone. Sorry you can't check on your heifers more than once a week. That would never work here.
As for getting them bigger before calving, early on we calved a bunch of heifers that calved their first calf at 3 years old. They were big and wild which made them hard to handle. They didn't want anything to do with a calf. That is what people did 'back then'. Soon they went to calving heifers at 2 years of age because of those big,stupid 3 year old cows. Sure they had to watch the heifers, but they did when they were first calvers at 3 years of age, only for different reasons. I will never forget those 3 year old first time mothers. They were awful.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Sad as it is. I made more leasing my place to be cut for hay vs leasing for cattle and them being here all year. But I enjoy having cows around, depends on your preference or if it’s only about the money.
I love the cows and calves but don’t have time or inclination for the upkeep anymore. That being said, I’m still running cattle not rolling hay.
 
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Brute 23

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You are correct. What you are doing isn't for everyone. Sorry you can't check on your heifers more than once a week. That would never work here.
As for getting them bigger before calving, early on we calved a bunch of heifers that calved their first calf at 3 years old. They were big and wild which made them hard to handle. They didn't want anything to do with a calf. That is what people did 'back then'. Soon they went to calving heifers at 2 years of age because of those big,stupid 3 year old cows. Sure they had to watch the heifers, but they did when they were first calvers at 3 years of age, only for different reasons. I will never forget those 3 year old first time mothers. They were awful.
That was a fluke or environment or handling or lack of. Had nothing to do with age.

The whole Brahman community is calving at 2.5-3yrs.
 

Brute 23

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The age you can breed heifers has to do with the quality of forage if the genetics ate similar. Good country and they can breed young and never skip a beat. Sorry country and you will buy her twice trying to keep her alive and breeding back.

I cab split a group of exactly the same genetic heifers. Put one group on a good place and the next on a sorry place and I will get two totally different outcomes.
 

Warren Allison

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I’d like to hear how everyone would go about building a new herd if you were to start over with everything you know now. Mostly interested in breeding programs but share anything you feel is related. Location: East Texas
Piney, how many acres do you have in pasture? How many head do you wish to have?
 

Rafter S

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That was a fluke or environment or handling or lack of. Had nothing to do with age.

The whole Brahman community is calving at 2.5-3yrs.

I agree. Heifers won't generally be wilder at 3 than they are at 2. In fact, if you handle them much at all (and do it gentle, without whooping and hollering), they should be more gentle as they get older.
 

Mossy Dell

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No matter what color or breed of cattle chosen you can expect to be competing with the cattle genome to herd phenotyping element
as applied by The Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Once this is established and in place it may be hard to sell to the major market unless your cattle have the proper genetic marker.

The above aside and realizing the possibility of heifers washing out of my program I would start with a 100 solid color red or black
1/2 blood Corriente heifers. I would AI them to the best 4-5 frame red angus bulls I could afford and turn them out with a red
angus bull of equal quality. Breed at 15 months for 60 days and figure anything above a 95 % calf crop as a bonus.
In any case one can figure on half being bulls with around 45 being heifers. Retain all heifers born in the first 30 days of the
calving period and market the rest including any of the original herd calving after 60 days in the calving period. Also sell any
cow that does not wean a live calf for any reason.

I would have them bred to calve when the ground temperature was just under 50 degrees. (mid to late April this latitude)
I would screen the bulls to insure they had low milk epd's as the calves will be born when grass is available and I consider
a high milking cow as a liability. Also I aim to have bred cows in around a 5 - 6 body condition at the time of calving.

As to feed I use rotational grazing and hay once a year. I will buy feed in a drought for the 1st 30 day cows and will, if forced,
market anything calving beyond that point. Admittedly it can take a lot of notches it the belt to accomplish this but in
the end when you succeed you will have cattle tougher than Mike Fink on a river boat and you can sleep like a baby during
the calving season. I would caution anyone: If what you are doing now is not working how can doubling down or doing
anything close result in anything but a disaster? Also realize that iron and oil are not required nutrients for grass so limit
the amount you allow to come between the sun and the ground. Finally in all cases, pray!
Lee, could explain the The Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative?
 

Cattlelow

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I’d like to hear how everyone would go about building a new herd if you were to start over with everything you know now. Mostly interested in breeding programs but share anything you feel is related. Location: East Texas
We started last year with 2 Beefmaster heifers and a BF bull. Bought 3 White face (2 bred) as well. So far we have 4 calves and a 5th on the way. These ladies are great moms. We lost one bull calve from our bull and a Santa Gr heifer. Good temperament and milk production. No complaints here.
 

greybeard

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I wish everyone would put a location in their profile...
But, ...


"In Texas I'd have to look at medium framed red angus or Santa gertrudis bred to polled Hereford bulls."

Keep in mind, there is a HUGE disparity in the different geographical sections WITHIN Texas, and it changes as much going North to South on the Eastern side as it does going East to West all across Texas. "One size does not fit all" in this state. The piney woods generally gets lots more rain than the coastal bend area and coastal south Texas and certainly more than areas any where to the West.
Temps are much different as well and a few degrees either way in the average annual high/low temps can make a lot of difference especially when humidity is factored in. RafterS is only about 70 miles due West of me and his area is totally different than where I live.
I live on the southwest edge of the pineywoods, he lives on the grand prairie. There is a BIG difference, just as there is a big diff in where I live and where Brute lives and ranches.
There is a reason #17 (pineywoods) is colored green..and it is not just because it has pine trees on it.

pineywoods.jpg
 
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LocustDaleCattleCompany

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I wish everyone would put a location in their profile...
But, ...




Keep in mind, there is a HUGE disparity in the different geographical sections WITHIN Texas, and it changes as much going North to South on the Eastern side as it does going East to West all across Texas. "One size does not fit all" in this state. The piney woods generally gets lots more rain than the coastal bend area and coastal south Texas and certainly more than areas any where to the West.
Temps are much different as well and a few degrees either way in the average annual high/low temps can make a lot of difference especially when humidity is factored in. RafterS is only about 70 miles due West of me and his area is totally different than where I live.
I live on the southwest edge of the pineywoods, he lives on the grand prairie. There is a BIG difference, just as there is a big diff in where I live and where Brute lives and ranches.
There is a reason #17 (pineywoods) is colored green..and it is not just because it has pine trees on it.

View attachment 9305
Oh yeah I’m a Texan born and raised just live in VA now. East Texas was another country to me growing up in South Texas! Knowing what I know now I don’t know why people even run cows in parts of Texas, it’s REAL work! 😁
 

Lee VanRoss

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Mossy Dell> Maybe, but you would probably understand it better if you checked it out for yourself.
Part of it, I think, has to do with dna markers that are peculiar to every living creature. For the sake of discussion if your family
has been in SW Virginia for a number of generations there is a good chance you carry a high percentage of Scotch dna.
On average Scotch dna will on average show about 15% Scandinavian (mostly Danish) dna
This same principal will apply to cattle as well so once the purebred herds have been mapped is will be a simple matter to
determine which blood lines have most propensity for weight gain, cutability or any other market advantage trait desired.
Cattle known to have these traits will be at a premium and like Round Up Ready beans or corn will marketed through controlled
channels at a cost to the user (or in this case the cattle feeder and perhaps final customer in the form of a cash expenditure.
I apologize for such a simplistic explanation but I am just now becoming aware of its ramifications myself. Again I would encourage
anyone to do their own research.. I do have a concern on what effect it could have on market consolidation and the resulting
consequences thereof. LVR
 

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