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Seperating boys from girls

kylemadigan

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First, I apologize for asking this simple question that I'm certain has been asked many times before; but I have a horrible time trying to search -constantly gives me the "sorry try again later" routine.

Raising a very small herd of registered beefmasters (6 cows). Several were bought last year, bred already with very good pedigrees. Now the calves are here, and perfect of course (seriously, have a bull calf that is really thick, correct, and clean that I don't want to castrate). In reviewing some of the posts on weaning, looks like anywhere from 6-8-9 months is discussed. To add to the mix, I want to wait a while to breed this year (had been Fall calving the way I bought them, but Sping will work much better for me), so, the calves will be a little older by the time the cows are rebred this summer. I know I'm wasting some time not having the girls rebred sooner, but I think it would be better to get on track now before we begin to grow. My nice bull calf is already about 2-3 months old. If I keep him with his mom and the others until this summer, he'll be reaching the 7-8 month age. Shouldn't I be concerned that as time goes on and he gets bigger, and the cows go unbred, and the other young heifer calves grow, he'll be taking intrests in them and possibly breed them. My question is, when/should I seperate the bull calf and his mom from the herd to avoid any potential problems? Any risk in him breeding his mom later on? Guess I'm wondering what age a bull can breed? Sure would be easy, with such a small group, to just keep all of them togehter to move through the rotation and do all of the separating at one time. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and guidance.
 

I luv herfrds

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I would not let him breed his mother. Pull him out at 6 months of age and keep him out until you are ready to get them bred.
 

novatech

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You are looking at another year or year and a half before the bull will be ready. And like I luv herfrds said don,t breed to mom.
There are a lot of young bull calves that look like they may make a bull. You really will not know untill he grows out. At least another year. Then you have to wait to see what his calves will look like and how they will preform. What I have done and suggest is that you grow him out a bit and if you still think he will make a bull sell him and retain breeding rights or loan him out maybe to a commercial operator for a while. As far as the cows are concerned I would have them AI'd.
You are facing a problem that many small breeders face. 50% of your calves will be bulls. Since you spent the money for the high quality cattle you will no doubt have many high quality bull calves. First you have not built a reputation. Second you are highly pregidous as you raised them and are proud of them. Third, the market is usually flooded with others trying to sell theirs.
What I would suggest is to let someone else evaluate your bull, when he grows up. Get on an AI program. Start talking up your cattle to those who may be interested. Until you find a market, or develop one, almost all your bulls will end up in the freezer, high quality or not.
 

dun

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You could wean them in 2 groups. Bull and steers first and leave the heifers with the cows. After weaning shuffle the bull and steers to another area, then wean the heifers. After 6-8 weeks of weaning, turn the heifers back in with the cows. Having a young bull around is always another layer of management that can be a real PITA. If you have a grown bull, after the young bull gets some size to him turn the bulls in together so they have company. That way you only have to dither with the boys and the girls and not a bunch of sperate pastures/paddocks/pens.
Keeping a young bull is a crap shoot at best. Last year we retained one young bull that was really extra special. He had evertything going for him that you would want in a bull and illicited a lot of interst and comments on potential buyers. At 11 months he turned totally to crap, top line dropped, butt disintegrated, heart girth became pinched looking and became cow hocked. He is now in a feedlot somewhere.
 

bigbull338

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wean that bull at 6 or 7 months.an pen him off to his self an feed him real good.an wean the steers an send them to the sale.an keep the heifers with the cows till you want to breed them back.an then pen the heifers up.
 

Frankie

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kylemadigan":1be5s8yq said:
First, I apologize for asking this simple question that I'm certain has been asked many times before; but I have a horrible time trying to search -constantly gives me the "sorry try again later" routine.

Raising a very small herd of registered beefmasters (6 cows). Several were bought last year, bred already with very good pedigrees. Now the calves are here, and perfect of course (seriously, have a bull calf that is really thick, correct, and clean that I don't want to castrate). In reviewing some of the posts on weaning, looks like anywhere from 6-8-9 months is discussed. To add to the mix, I want to wait a while to breed this year (had been Fall calving the way I bought them, but Sping will work much better for me), so, the calves will be a little older by the time the cows are rebred this summer. I know I'm wasting some time not having the girls rebred sooner, but I think it would be better to get on track now before we begin to grow. My nice bull calf is already about 2-3 months old. If I keep him with his mom and the others until this summer, he'll be reaching the 7-8 month age. Shouldn't I be concerned that as time goes on and he gets bigger, and the cows go unbred, and the other young heifer calves grow, he'll be taking intrests in them and possibly breed them. My question is, when/should I seperate the bull calf and his mom from the herd to avoid any potential problems? Any risk in him breeding his mom later on? Guess I'm wondering what age a bull can breed? Sure would be easy, with such a small group, to just keep all of them togehter to move through the rotation and do all of the separating at one time. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and guidance.

I think you're right to move your calving season now, rather than wait until you have a larger herd. We've been moving to a spring calving season for a couple of years and it's been a pain. We should have just bit the bullet two years ago.

I'd suggest you get any bull calves away from females at about six months old. For sure by the time they're eight months old. We wean ours together at seven months and watch them to be sure the young bulls aren't capable of breeding. If they seem to be, we'll watch the heifers for heats and shoot any hiefer with Prostaglandin after the bulls are gone to test. They'll surprise you how young they can breed or get bred.
 

kylemadigan

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Great advice folks. To clarify, I'm definitly keeping an AI program. Also, totally understand my bias on the bull calf which is why I will be having others do the evaluation rather than me -all I know now is that he appears to have a shot at making the cut eventually and I don't want to jump to castration on him. I certainly don't intend for him to ever breed mom, at best, I mean to keep him to fill out and sell as a registered herd bull, maybe keep as a cleanup bull depending on the circumstances. Bottom line seems, seperate him at 6 months and I should be safe from him breeding other heifers for cows; thanks.

Since it was correclty noted that my small operation has lots of room for improvement regarding stature in the furture to even begin to have a chance to compete and break even, I'll need your help. How's this? I'm inviting anyone here to get in while you can on this soon to be world dominating cattle producer by placing extremly outragous bids on this one of a kind perfect bull calf that will one day exceed EPD rankings and sales hirer than any other bull in history. What say you?

Ha Ha, even Bill Gates had to start somewhere.
 

redcowsrule33

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I would see if you can look at some other breeder's bull calves and talk to them. We love to talk about our animals! If you still think after that he is worthy of retaining his testicles, I would find out if there is a bull test you could get him in. Raising one bull is difficult (they eat better with a little competition) and you have no one to compare him to. It might be spendy but sometimes the price you pay for education is worth the investment. Plus, if he does well you have better exposure to your buyer market. And you learn what the buyer market wants.
 

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