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jltrent

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This calf was born on April 11th so just shy of 4 months old.

Had a man tell me a big calf like that I could go ahead and pull and put him on feed and grass but I've always left them together until 6 or 7 months old.

Any thoughts????
I always like for the mother to have a 2-3 month break between calves so leaving him 6-7 months should not be a problem from my experience.
 

Brute 23

Brute 23
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This calf was born on April 11th so just shy of 4 months old.

Had a man tell me a big calf like that I could go ahead and pull and put him on feed and grass but I've always left them together until 6 or 7 months old.

Any thoughts????
When some one tells you some thing like that it's important to ask... why? Try to understand why he thinks that would be a good idea. It might be a good idea... it might not.

Blanket statements like that dont really help you.

My theory on that is why would you miss out on 2 more months of growth on mommas dime? That is assuming you sell at weaning or after based on pounds.

If you are doing freezer beef or some thing like that and are shooting for target weights, not just the biggest animal you can raise, then ya, hitting a target weight 2 months early would be great.

There is a lot more context that goes in to this kind of discussion to be able to comment accurately.
 
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3ECATTLE

3ECATTLE

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He said it would give the cow more time to bounce back and make it easier on her to produce calves like that over and over.

But all my calves are weaned by pulling them off mama and taking them to a small place behind the house that I keep just for weaning and the occasional bull or something new in quarantine etc.... once there I can put the feed to them and keep a closer eye on them. They usually stay for atleast a month sometimes 2 then whatever I haven't sold straight off the farm goes to sale barn.
 

farmerjan

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I think from the sounds of it your program with the calves is just fine. If the grass was real short/burnt up... or something else, then pulling early might not be a bad idea. If the cow is in good flesh, letting her do the feeding is the least cost scenario. If grass and all is good, and she is in good shape, pulling the calf earlier will do several things.... It will cost you money, and time....and decrease her doing the job that she was intended to do.... it will allow the cow more of a break... which can translate into her getting fat and then potentially having a problem at calving. The fetus will grow even bigger if she is getting fatter too.... It will cause her to possibly produce less milk in the future because her body will start shutting off the milk production sooner.... Have seen it often in dairy cows, that when dried off early for whatever reason, they tend to not come into as good a production the next lactation. And seem to slack off sooner....This is not proven, but have taken note and had some farmers mention it too. You will lose out on way more than you will gain.... and cost you in the process.

Stick with what is working for you. It sounds like your cows do a good job of producing good calves, weaning them at a good weight, and they don't need to sit around for extra months and get fat, while you are putting money and time into taking care of the calf she was perfectly able to do.

I also find that weaning later like that, that the calves are eating better and less dependent on the cow and the transition is smoother.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the cows seem to be thin or have trouble getting in condition after you pull the calves at 6-7 months or older, then that would be time to reconsider....and that is often due to pastures being dry or overgrazed or something like that. Or a possible worm load ....
 

Brute 23

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He said it would give the cow more time to bounce back and make it easier on her to produce calves like that over and over.

But all my calves are weaned by pulling them off mama and taking them to a small place behind the house that I keep just for weaning and the occasional bull or something new in quarantine etc.... once there I can put the feed to them and keep a closer eye on them. They usually stay for atleast a month sometimes 2 then whatever I haven't sold straight off the farm goes to sale barn.

Got ya. I would maybe buy 6 months but not 4. A cow should be able to raise a calf like that for 6-7months with out trouble. As others have said, stick with with your normal plan.
 

coachg

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6-7 months on mom ; unless you are in the drought area there’s no need to pull him off . Especially if you plan to keep him .
 

ClintM

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He will continue to change.
Picked up my current bull as virgin 20 month old. He looks like a cow compared to his 3yr and 4yr pics. (Attached)
 

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