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FullCircleWVa

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I would like to get all my cows to be calving on the same time frame mostly for management purposes, but also for natural forage. The saying "you don't know what you don't know" goes a good ways, especially with these cattle. I bought a couple 3n1's in May, not noting their bred date (3 mos bred bought May 26th (SAID IT RIGHT ON THE SALE SHEET :ROFLMAO:)), just seeing a couple nice cow/calf pair and getting excited and tossing my hand up and these two ended up being fall calving (One calved 11/27, other due any time). I also have 4 spring calving cows (April-May based off bull exposure) and plan to add another 2 spring pairs come green up late April/early May. The problem is, I love these two fall calvers, they are both 6 y/o's (got them for calving ease since i'm green).. docile, easy to work, always come up to you in the pasture.. just all around good bovine. The first one calved unassisted, has a good bag, and is a good mother in the fact that she hates dogs yet I tagged and vac'd the calf right beside her with just a few momma moo's. The other cow if no issues with her calving out, I'd like to keep around as well.

I know I can't let emotion fog perception, so I wanted get some direction from some fine folks of CT based off time and experience. I was reading various posts about getting animals to calve with nature, I'd like a spring calving herd.. it aligns good with fall sales and as a beginner I feel that they will be easier to manage as far as vaccination schedules and proper feed for stages of gestation and lactation..

Do I hold these two cows back from the bull until May-June when I put him in with the others, or do I sell them as pairs this spring and buy true spring calving cows? I am leaning on keeping them open for 5 months or so and taking the loss just for the sake of aligning my management practices and keeping good (whats good for me may not be good for you) cattle around. I'm also up to the idea of selling them and buying a couple 3 y/o pairs on a consignment sale..

Thank you for your insight.

FC
 

Dsth

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if you decide to sell and buy back spring calving cows, don't buy them at the sale barn or from someone that is just throwing out a calving date that he/she knows what you want to hear. selling or keeping is dependent on your goal in the near future. if you don't mind feeding them for a few months and turning out with the bull, by all means keep them if they are cows that you like and enjoy having in your herd. if money is tight and feed supply low, selling and buying back would be my suggestion. I have done both depending on the factors at the time.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Dsth, I appreciate the feedback.

If I go the selling and buying back pairs route, I will most likely go private treaty with one of the local farms around. I really like red angus and there is a Great RA breeder down the road from me, Dan and Alicia Stickel with Cedar Hill Red Angus in Jane Lew, WV. I also thought about going to the WV State Roundup of the spring (registered stock sale), but the prices of 3n1 heifers last spring were $2400+.. accordingly so, they are extremely nice cattle. I just don't know if I could justify that cost with the size of my herd (SMALL). Sale barns are definitely toss ups and there's an extremely slim chance of finding a good solid 3 y/o pair I don't believe. I text the fellow who runs the sale barn I go to when I'm looking and he's done great for helping me out on what to look for and what to shy from. He lets me know when a good consignment is coming through or when I can probably just stay home. I owe him a debt from when I started out in getting me set up with good, sound feeder steer, Where some may have taken advantage of a green wannabe, he was very helpful. West Virginia University ag dept. also sells some first calf heifer pairs at the same sale barn of the spring but they also bring the best price (read: too much) and personally I think they are over conditioned.

I'm rambling now. I understand where I need to go and what I would be looking to spend for the replacements I want.

Prior to all of this unknown calving yada-yada fiasco, I had prepared to winter these cows and me being a single man.. I don't have any butts to wipe or mouths to feed.. yet! I have the hay necessary and supplement with a 28% protein tub.

I think they will stay.
 

TCRanch

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I worked hard to get back to Spring only calving by selling some very nice cow/calf pairs and holding over a few. I now have a 65-day window, but this year they all calved within 45 days for a nice, uniform calf crop.

Since you're relatively new to cattle and like these two, I agree that keeping them is probably your best bet. Cattle sales are up, and you'd most likely end up paying quite a bit more for the RA private treaty.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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If I could hit a window between 3 cycles (counting first cycle as day 1) I would be VERY pleased. Less than 70-day calving window sounds great.

Yes I agree TC the private treaty and even special registered sales bring some powerful dollars. I know a few good commercial guys around me the more I dabble in this (awesome group of people in cattle BTW) and I think when the time comes, I'll be going to them for direction in purchasing specifics in our area.

Now on the other hand here's another dumb Derek (that's me) story.. I had bought another pair that the cow was with a bull for a month prior to me buying her (nice sound 4 y/o bwf).. DUMB, GREEN me doesn't put 2 and 2 together on her having a 120ish lb calf at side and probably NOT being bred back. Surer than sh*t I come home one day a month or so after bovine acquisition and the steers are riding her ragged. Thankfully at the time since I don't have the bull yet, my neighbor let me put her through the fence and it took about 17 seconds for his angus to get her bred.. on SEPT 6th!! LOL so much for spring. She will be growing legs next fall after she calves (June 5th by gestation chart) and lets that calf grow a little. She's pretty, but she's also a little temperamental, only cow I can't at least rub on the forehead. She's also growing on me, getting friendlier as she is learning I'm the one bringing radishes to the pasture.

Now that I write these 'problems' out, I think it could all be resolved if I would just take a moment at the sale instead of seeing a pretty cow and just waving like I'm the Homecoming Queen! I do do my due diligence (Say that 5 times fast) and show up early and walk around, check docility, feet, udders, etc. prior to them entering ring. Now that I've got a starter herd, no more momma's from the sale barn. Noted.

We are learning.
 
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Son of Butch

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I would like to get all my cows to be calving on the same time frame
I have 4 spring calving cows (April-May based off bull exposure) and plan to add another 2 spring pairs come green up late April/early May. The problem is,
I love these two these two fall calvers, they are both 6 y/o's (got them for calving ease since i'm green).. docile, easy to work, always come up to you in the pasture.. just all around good bovine. I'd like a spring calving herd...
Do I hold these two cows back from the bull until May-June when I put him in with the others, or do I sell them as pairs this spring and buy true spring calving cows?
You have 6 cows - it's a hobby - and plan to buy 2 more in spring.
Absolutely keep the 2 cows you love - enjoyment is the purpose of a hobby.
Good Luck with all 8 now and in the future.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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You have 6 cows - it's a hobby - and plan to buy 2 more in spring.
Absolutely keep the 2 cows you love - enjoyment is the purpose of a hobby.
Good Luck with all 8 now and in the future.
Thank you SoB. We are going to continue to grow, but I can’t let my butt get too big for my britches. I was unsure of whether I wanted to run some feeder steer and finish for people, or run cow/calf ops.. so I started out with a couple of both. 4 steers worked up to full grain and some hay roughage go in Dec 14 and I am excited to hear back from the buyers. I did two last year for my family and it turned out great. Only difference this year is an added two BWF. Taste the same? I bet.

I absolutely get enjoyment out of it, it’s the best feeling in the world. I won’t delve into it here, but I used to be mopey, down in the dumps a lot. No rhyme or reason to why but nonetheless. These cows helped clear that up. Such a great stress relief to just go hang out with them in the pasture. And my nephews, well they get a kick out of it too.

EF1CDA30-58C2-403D-B165-F7C9DCEFDAA4.jpeg
 
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FullCircleWVa

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BTW, don't discount ugly if they have all the other desirable qualities. Some of my best producers were butt ugly. Woof!!!! And raised shockingly pretty calves, that eventually carried on the lineage (minus the ugly).
I have heard of those types regarded as butter faced! Everything looks good on her butter face! 🤣😅
 

snoopdog

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When we backgrounded, I brought home a steer, swear they switched his tag, but probably not. The wife said what"d you buy him for? He ate everything, and gained more per day than any in the group, made me bucks, dang he WAS ugly.
 

farmerjan

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Hold the 2 back for a few months and breed on your schedule. Their calves can stay with them longer at no cost to the cow's condition..... Disposition is worth alot and you know what they are capable of raising. Losing a few months is not that big a deal at this stage.

Congratsulations on finding a "hobby" that you like, that gets you out and around and learning to appreciate nature and enjoying the time with your nephews. Good home raised beef is a definite perk too.....
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Welcome to the boards. We all have the bug - cattle bug that is. I am a Purebred breeder, so a lot of times my choices would be a lot different than a commercial breeder. For me, keeping a good cow around a few months longer to fit my program would not be a problem. You know "a bird in the hand". You know what you have now. You won't know about a new purchase. And, yes, buy from a breeder if at all possible.
I calve Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct. If one of mine messes up and doesn't get bred, I slide her over into the next "season". But, I artificial breed and stick to the 60 days calving window. It should be easy to stick to a 60 day season using a bull.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Thank you for the welcome, Jeanne; it’s really great to be here and interact rather than just reading every post from the inception of CT 😂. I’ve seen so many replies from you and the others on this post amongst other posts and I value your and the others’ words. They are held in high regard and although I don’t know the lot of you personally, I respect you all for both your willingness to help spread knowledge but also the way you all approach answering questions, whether they’re foolish or not. Explaining your process allows me to look at mine and make a decision that I can stand behind in confidence. I genuinely appreciate you all.

I think me being green and having some cows still to calve this spring will keep me busy enough to hold these girls back. Their docility alone makes me want to keep them around so I’m able to learn more through them.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Your winters will be too cold, your summers too hot and dry, your days long and your nights restless and your wallet thin.
You are among the chosen few to contract the cow disease.
(Heck, what else you gonna do with your time and $$?)
I reckon if my winters cold, my neighbors will be too and maybe they’ll pull a little extra gas off the lease and then I can have more $$$ to turn in to less $$$. 🤣🤣

In all seriousness yes I got that disease but isn’t it a blessing in disguise??? I go to the sale barn just to eat the dinner special lol.
 

kenny thomas

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I reckon if my winters cold, my neighbors will be too and maybe they’ll pull a little extra gas off the lease and then I can have more $$$ to turn in to less $$$. 🤣🤣

In all seriousness yes I got that disease but isn’t it a blessing in disguise??? I go to the sale barn just to eat the dinner special lol.
Nothing wrong with that.
 

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