Question for large volume cow/calfers

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D.R. Cattle

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How you guys attaching a calf to her dam in the recordbooks on say a 5,000 head operation? We've got the herd split into 2 seasons, so approximately 2,500 head need to be rode out every morning during drop season. This does not seem very efficient. Any ideas? Currently we just don't do it. We only preg-check. But I get the feeling there are quite a few who show up bred and slip the calf later on. Also, the only way to cull poor performers is by knowing which mother the dinks belong to. Once the herds are penned, the pairs are all split up. Riding around with a little note pad and making these observations seems fairly time consuming. Besides if that was the case you might as well just ride around and tag up newborns right?
 

rross

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You get as much out of it, as you put in it. In your case very little!
 

jw

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In your case very little!

Couldn't help notice you have been in our family here a couple of weeks. Some friendly advice. We really don't need the personal sarcasm or attacks.
 

NorCalFarms

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A lot of em don't.

I am not a 'large' producer for this area, but many of my friends and nieghbors are. Most of them do it the same way I do, every morning somebody or sombodies have to go feed and while driving through the fields, any new calves are caught and eartagged, shot full of whatever potions are needed, etc. It generally isn't a big deal because someone has to feed, most guys split them into different lots of around 200 or so head so they can be in a small enough area that they can see most of it driving through, to make sure everyone is alive and well, and not all buried in the snow or froze to the ground :shock: . I can't think of anyone around feeding more than 2-300 in one area, to many trips with a feed truck.
Some other guys near here load all there cows (2nd calf and older only) on trucks and ship them south into the Central Valley where there is grass this time of year. They calve down there with nobody at all around, and then in April or so they haul them home, I'm not sure if anyone sees some of most of those cows until the ride home, so I don't know how they manage on that, I'll have to ask. Interesting question.
 

Jake

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D.R. Cattle":27lsg0d3 said:
rross":27lsg0d3 said:
You get as much out of it, as you put in it. In your case very little!

Thanks for the poetry, but I'm looking for answers from people who actually have the same problem.

I was once told the easiest way to do this is to implement the "sandhills calving system" When your knocking the into groups of age you can more easily pair them up after you move the others on.
 

flaboy+

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D.R., I am surprised they would even try with herd sizes that large. There are some around me I spoke of before that don't even know how many cattle they have more less if a cow had a calf and which calf. Most of these folks just round em up once a year and ship. They don't even haul old broken down cows off. They just leave them on their property to die of old age. Now remember most of these places run old woods cows but have some pretty good Angus and Charolais bulls on them.

I know some folks believe this is bad management but some of these places have been in families for several generations and they just won't spend the time to build performance in a herd. I guess they feel they get enough money without spending it to work the cows several times a year. Just my thoughts. ;-)
 

EIEIO

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My only thought for you is to build more fence unless you already have some in place. Divide your soon to be mama's on one side and soon as they calve move them over to the other side of the fence tagging them as you go. Keep it up till the end of what should be your calving season and then cull those that have not calved, have poor calves, and the open cows.

I know of folks with smaller herds that seperates soon as they start calving. I would wait till there are several on the ground though and would never seperate a single mama and calf from the herd.

Just a thought.

J
 
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D.R. Cattle

D.R. Cattle

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flaboy+":t6taew3a said:
D.R., I am surprised they would even try with herd sizes that large. There are some around me I spoke of before that don't even know how many cattle they have more less if a cow had a calf and which calf. Most of these folks just round em up once a year and ship. They don't even haul old broken down cows off. They just leave them on their property to die of old age. Now remember most of these places run old woods cows but have some pretty good Angus and Charolais bulls on them.

I know some folks believe this is bad management but some of these places have been in families for several generations and they just won't spend the time to build performance in a herd. I guess they feel they get enough money without spending it to work the cows several times a year. Just my thoughts. ;-)

They aren't trying to ID new calves. We do know how many mature animals we have, give or take a dozen. At some point every herd rolls through the pens, be it marking & branding, bulls out, or weaning and vaccinating. Every animal is EID and everything that rolls through gets scanned so a record of everything performed is kept as well as rolling an animal to other herds. At weaning and vaccinating it would be beneficial to know who the mother is so we can cull some of the bags that bring runts with them every year (assuming there are many that do). Many poor performers are a result of inbreeding over the years or poor milk production. We preg check all of them, but this only tells us they concieved. It doesn't mean she brings a marketable weanling to the pens. I guess it's just a pitfall of being a big dog. They are a top 25 cow/calfer for the US.
 
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D.R. Cattle

D.R. Cattle

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EIEIO":1w6ldr4p said:
My only thought for you is to build more fence unless you already have some in place. Divide your soon to be mama's on one side and soon as they calve move them over to the other side of the fence tagging them as you go. Keep it up till the end of what should be your calving season and then cull those that have not calved, have poor calves, and the open cows.

I know of folks with smaller herds that seperates soon as they start calving. I would wait till there are several on the ground though and would never seperate a single mama and calf from the herd.

Just a thought.

J

It's a good thought too. Except we're utilizing the pastures pretty heavily and we can never guarantee one next door to a calving herd without ruining the rotation system.
 
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D.R. Cattle

D.R. Cattle

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Jake":j3ebkxa4 said:
D.R. Cattle":j3ebkxa4 said:
rross":j3ebkxa4 said:
You get as much out of it, as you put in it. In your case very little!

Thanks for the poetry, but I'm looking for answers from people who actually have the same problem.

I was once told the easiest way to do this is to implement the "sandhills calving system" When your knocking the into groups of age you can more easily pair them up after you move the others on.

I read about this technique last week, but it was mostly designed to keep scours and disease away from calving herds.
 

EIEIO

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D.R. Cattle if my idea sounds at all possible but there may be a problem with the pasture use around the calving pasture try this. Next year the pasture your cattle will be calving on divide it into 1/4 sections. When they start calving move the mama's and calves onto a 1/4 using poly wire and step in posts to keep them away from the ones that have not calved. Tag them then. By the time your at your last 1/4 you will be down to either your late or open cows and will have an idea on what to cull.

Easiest way is just to already have your ground rods driven in and then just move your wire, charger, and posts. I've used this practice while grazing stockpiled fescue and don't know why it would not work in your situation as long as you are able to control your cattle and get them where you want them to go.

I'm sure water will be an issue with that many cows and the ammount of land I'm sure will be involved but the investment in adding some water lines may well be worth it. Since I don't know your landscape it may not be possible but it's just an idea.

J
 

Jake

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D.R. Cattle":2ezydj3d said:
I read about this technique last week, but it was mostly designed to keep scours and disease away from calving herds.

Yes but your knocking the calves and cows into groups of 100-200 most likely and if nothing else you can pin calves down to a set of cows.
 
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D.R. Cattle

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They cull cows which come in open twice, not the first time. Not sure if I clarified, but this is an outfit I work for. My herd is small enough to just ride through twice a day and tag up newbies. This herd has 5,000 mommas split into two seasons, spread out over 28,000 acres. A lot of those acres are strictly quail hunt courses, I believe they leave us in the cow crew around 15,000 raw acres, but still spread out fairly well.
 

Jake

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I guess best advice I could say is the sandhills calving D.R. When you move the cows however X amount of days work what you've left behind... best I can offer for my limited expertise.
 

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