Putting the bull in - when?

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SRBeef

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How soon after calving can you or should you put the bull back in with the cows and calves?

Do you breed yearling heifers a month ahead of the rest of the herd as I understand some folks advocate?

Thank you.
 

dyates

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Most cows will begin cycling 60 days or so after calving. When you put the bull in depends on when you want your calving season to start. Count backwards 280 days. I do not breed heifers a month early as some do. I don't want cows calving in nasty weather and mud and I sure as heck don't want a first timer doing it. Our heifers usually wean off the biggest calves each year, though.
 

jcarkie

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for spring i put the bull in on April 25th - may 1st, fall cows thanksgiving day - dec. 1st you can run them year round and have calves whenever.
 

Aaron

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Cows and heifers calve together, April 1 to May 15th. Heifers calve at 30 months, so we expect them to function exactly like any other cow without any benefits. They grow wheels if they can't.

Bulls go out week of June 15th to 19th.

We have had a lot of cows cycle 2 weeks after they have calved, so all get at least one cycle, if not two, in before they go on their 'first date'. :cowboy:
 

msscamp

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SRBeef":1adtoosj said:
How soon after calving can you or should you put the bull back in with the cows and calves?

Do you breed yearling heifers a month ahead of the rest of the herd as I understand some folks advocate?

Thank you.

We had a defined breeding/calving season. The main herd started calving mid-March or so, and we put the bulls out the around the 10th-15th of June, and pulled 2 months or so later to achieve that. First time heifers were put with the bull the latter part of May/first of June so the majority of them would calve first.
 

KNERSIE

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I put the bull in so the breeding season can coincide with the best grazing season to achieve maximised conception rates.
 

Limomike

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dyates":1er9wx3w said:
Most cows will begin cycling 60 days or so after calving. When you put the bull in depends on when you want your calving season to start. .

This is right. It does depend on when you want your calving season to start. Some of my cows will cycle back in within 2-3 weeks after calving, so they will breed back real soon. For instance, I had one of my RA cows calve last year in middle March, this year she calved just three days ago.
 
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SRBeef

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Thanks for the replies. I guess I should have titled it differently. What I was looking for is how soon after calving I can put the bull in to get most of the herd bred again on the next 20 day cycle.

I want a pretty tight calving period. I was wondering how soon after calving should the cows be cycling again?

I hear numbers from 2-3 weeks to 60 days (8 weeks). That quite a range.

Summary: If I wait 4 weeks from the date of the last calf then most of them should be ready?

My target is to get almost all calves born within 20 days (1 cycle).

Thanks again for the responses.
 

Aaron

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SRBeef":1l4dyoor said:
My target is to get almost all calves born within 20 days (1 cycle).

That's next to impossible. Unless you only running a handful of cows, it will never happen.

Our breeding season runs for 50 days and that is the tightest I know of in our area. Most are shocked to hear that as I know a few do 60 days and most do 75-90 days. The tightest you could get is about 40 days.

If you are going to excessively tighten up your calving period, this is what you have to do.

Step 1) Prime your cows for the entire time they are calving with 1:1 loose mineral, no salt, as much as they can eat, once a week.
Step 2) 3 weeks before bull exposure, give all the cows a 5cc dose of Vitamin AD.
Step 3) Determine the day you want to start your calving.
Step 4) Turn the bull out 3 days before the due date you want your first calf.

I would give your cows three weeks after the last calf is born, before exposure to the bull.
 

HOSS

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Last year my calving season was less than 30 days.....but I am only running about 25 head of momma cows. I put the bull in on memorial day every year. He evidently was busy last year. This year I won't be as lucky and figure it will take longer (new inexperienced bull). I got 100% conception rate from him so he is doing something right but it will be more spread out this year due to two breeding back late and one being purchased late and put in at the first of July.

I don't want to rush cows into breeding back. I calve in Late Feb and into march and breed back in june. This gives me a calf per year and the cows get plenty of time after calving to regain strength and spend that time feeding the calf. I don't want the bull pushing around a 1 to 2 month onld calf to get to momma. That extra month of age on that calf gives tham an advantage in avoiding the bull when he is trying to tend momma.
 
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SRBeef

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Thank you Aaron and Hoss - that's what I was looking for. I realize 20 days/1 cycle is close to impossible but I have a small herd only and would be pleased to get to your 30 days Hoss.

Aaron what is 1:1 mineral? I never mix salt with mineral anyway.
 

Willow Springs

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If you really want to maximize your fertility, without mortaging the farm, calve and breed on grass. This doesn't work for everyone depending on pasture availability and what your end goal for the cattle is (ie: showring, etc.).

We calve in May/June (Alberta); the cows are are fully grazing by about May 20th. They have May/June/July to fatten up on grass before breeding, nothing else special, just TM salt with selinium. Our fertility is as good as or better than it was calving in February with way less inputs (feed, etc). In fact our cows are thinner at calving than before becasue I know they will pick up the weight quickly on grass. I wouldn't breed the heifers ahead of the cows, they will have better fertility calving with the cows closer to the best most nutritious grass. In fact i know some that calve the heifers behind the cows so that they calve right in the thick of the best grass; small calf and good grass equals weight gain. Our own heifers that calved in early June were cycling in 25-30 days. Our birthweights have also been down 7-10 lbs on avergae by changing seasons; don't really even worry about the heifers having calving trouble anymore (knock on wood :D ).

We bred about a hundred females this year and 85% will calve in the first 40 days. We had 5% open and 10% late (over 40 days). We leave the bulls out for about 90 days because good bred cows are worth more to sell here than opens. We preg check early becasue the vets are more accurate in early gestation and this along with observation lets us weed out the lates. Anyway that's what works for us.
 

msscamp

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SRBeef":2bsjbvt3 said:
What I was looking for is how soon after calving I can put the bull in to get most of the herd bred again on the next 20 day cycle.

I want a pretty tight calving period. I was wondering how soon after calving should the cows be cycling again?

I hear numbers from 2-3 weeks to 60 days (8 weeks). That quite a range.

Summary: If I wait 4 weeks from the date of the last calf then most of them should be ready?

My target is to get almost all calves born within 20 days (1 cycle).

Thanks again for the responses.

Cows generally start cycling 21-45 days post calving, but that doesn't mean they will settle on the first heat after calving. I sure wouldn't put a bull in them for a couple of months post calving. To breed back on the first heat cycle following calving is placing the very heavy burden of asking your cows to maintain their own BCS, supporting a young nursing calf, as well as supporting a developing fetus very soon after the stress of calving. They are not machines, and they need a rest between calving and being bred back. By waiting a few months, the calf is old enough to graze, the burden of milk production is reduced, the cow has had a chance to regain body condition - if necessary - and she will not burn out nearly as fast.

As far as your target goal is concerned - if you're going to dream, dream big! :lol: :lol:
 
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SRBeef

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msscamp":nu1sghtk said:
SRBeef":nu1sghtk said:
What I was looking for is how soon after calving I can put the bull in to get most of the herd bred again on the next 20 day cycle.

I want a pretty tight calving period. I was wondering how soon after calving should the cows be cycling again?

I hear numbers from 2-3 weeks to 60 days (8 weeks). That quite a range.

Summary: If I wait 4 weeks from the date of the last calf then most of them should be ready?

My target is to get almost all calves born within 20 days (1 cycle).

Thanks again for the responses.

Cows generally start cycling 21-45 days post calving, but that doesn't mean they will settle on the first heat after calving. I sure wouldn't put a bull in them for a couple of months post calving. To breed back on the first heat cycle following calving is placing the very heavy burden of asking your cows to maintain their own BCS, supporting a young nursing calf, as well as supporting a developing fetus very soon after the stress of calving. They are not machines, and they need a rest between calving and being bred back. By waiting a few months, the calf is old enough to graze, the burden of milk production is reduced, the cow has had a chance to regain body condition - if necessary - and she will not burn out nearly as fast.

As far as your target goal is concerned - if you're going to dream, dream big! :lol: :lol:

Thank you for the reply. I take good care of my cattle and won't push them too hard. To clarify:

My first claves are due about April 15th this spring. I'm hoping the last calf from my small herd would be born no later than about May 15th. But I don't want the May 15th cow to straggle even further behind.

I was asking how soon after my last calf can I be pretty sure the the last cow is cycling. This way if she (the last one to calve) is cycling then I hope the others are also and should be able to tighten up my calving for next year. So if I put the bull on June 15th all cows would have somewhere between 30 and 60 days since calving and should be cycling. Average conception would probably be about July 1.

I spoke with my vet about this and he says that the first trimester is really not hard on a good cow who is also nursing a calf. The second trimester with a bigger calf also on her can be tougher. So if I wean a bit earlier this year, say Oct 1 rather than Nov 1 as I did this year I should take a load off of the cows as they enter the second trimester.

This will let me also get some steers onto corn stalks earlier and have some more to sell in the spring rather than waitng until next fall....

20 days is my target. I know I won't get there but with my small herd I think I can get close. I also want to cull any cow that needs more than 2 cycles to conceive. First cycle conceivers get a gold star and move up from the bottom of the cull list.

Cow mature weight (1200lb target), ability to calve unassisted and ability to concieve on first cycle after putting bull in are very important in determining the keep/cull list. Problem is when you have a 1500 lb great looking cow who gives you a good calf every year and meets the other criteria its pretty hard to cull her.
 

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