Second chances for first calf heifers

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Nov 21, 2013
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So i am a very small operator (HOBBY) i calved 3 bbaldy heifers to a char bull 2 live calves and the third slipped her calf a month to 2 weeks early and i couldnt graft a spare calf on to her as i didnt have the proper time.

Do i keep a quiet well shaped heifer and run her with the bull for a second chance or move her on and buy something in?

Cattle prices are sky high and personally it would be no problem to cary her for a year.
yeah it's a toss-up. However....what's the chance you could do a quick switch? Sell her and buy another older pair. You just might make up most of the difference by not keeping an unproductive cow for a year.

I've run into issues this year with a bull working but not getting the job done. Most of my cows had age on them so I'm selling old cows and buying middle age pairs and bred cows needing some grass. So far I've sold 13 and bought 13 and have $1445 left over. Calf crop will be late but at least I won't be waiting another year for one.
Yeah i couldnt agree more about trading it in but i have basically overspent on my passion and the least costly option is to sit on my hands and give it another go. And i mean cutting it fine transport costs and the buying and selling would stuff me up.
Where are you that cattle prices are sky high?

As far as the heifer I am keeping one that didn't breed back because she is genetics I cannot reproduce. At lease I know she can have a live calf. Yours I would wonder about!
3waycross":2o0qi3dn said:
Where are you that cattle prices are sky high?

Guessing by the user name that the OP is in Australia...or he really likes Black Sabbath.... :shock:
If you think the female will make a good cow then keep her and breed her back, if not then sell her and salvage the loss. Can't be too critical of her slipping a calf, we had a 10 year old cow slip a calf in January about 2 months out from calving and we plan to try to breed her AI in May as she has been one of our best cows and she had more than paid for herself with the bulls and heifers we have sold of hers. You wouldn't cull a good female if her calf got sick and died just days after calving so this is the same as that scenario. You have to make a decision based off what you think that female will do for you in the future and not get too caught up with the loss you suffered this year.

You stated right off the bat that this is more of a hobby and I would guess is not your main source of income so if that is the case you have more margin of error here taking on some risk. If you like the potential of this female then keep her and breed her back and give her a second chance.
If you want to take a chance on a 2nd chancer, you're better off doing it with a heifer. You have more potentially have more time to make up for the loss, given her youth. I have some dependable cows that were given another chance after losing the first one. I have also held onto a few that I shouldn't have in the same scenario. If you like her, go for it. If she's the bottom end of the three, cut her and use one of the above suggestions, in my opinion.
If you only have 3 cows you should do what you want not try to figure out the best financial move. As you said, it's a hobby. Hobbies don't make money they are for our enjoyment. Sounds like you like the heifer/cow and it would be easier than bringing one in. If you bring one in you also risk the introduction of disease into your closed group. All for a couple hundred bucks?
Some of my best cows had a screw up at heifer age or were late breeding back after their first calf. My investment is to great not to give them a second chance. Now if the young cow is a problem or has a bad attitude, the answer is easy.

Having a group of fall calving cows as well as spring ones makes it a lot easier. The late breed back animals can be switched to the other herd and you only lose six months of production instead of a year.
Thanks for the great replies and thoughts. So just a follow up. She is a great framed, uddered tempramented heifer. She knows the run of the property all my cows are quiet enough i yard and shift them on foot. I actually sold my old atv as it wasnt worth owning. Financially i can definatly give her another go and i would like to. Mainly just asked the question in case someone called out dont do it as statistically your wasting your time.

So i am going to put her to the lbw angus and will keep you posted :)

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