Spaying heifers

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TCRanch

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Neighbor didn't spay, but used MGA in their feed when he bought stockers. Supposed to keep them from cycling.
 

Buck Randall

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I can't do it cheaply enough to justify it over feeding MGA, and most veterinarians would say the same.
 

greybeard

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"Neighbor didn't spay, but used MGA in their feed when he bought stockers. Supposed to keep them from cycling."

How much MGA would you daily feed to a 600lb heifer?
For how long?
 

Dave

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We did 300+ last spring. They were going to a feedlot. One way to be certain that they are open. The vet that did it did 50 head an hour. We never had to wait on him, he did occasionally wait on us. I believe it cost us $6 a head. I am certain that it wasn't his first time doing it. We had zero loses.
 
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kenny thomas

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I can't do it cheaply enough to justify it over feeding MGA, and most veterinarians would say the same.
I have no clue on the cost yet but we have a vet school 15 miles from here and the professors bring students to my farm to learn so it would be cheaper than usual.
I have a thought that might work but might not. I sell 10-15 beefs a year and nobody wants a beef over 1000lb. My thought is to buy small frame (short and fat) heifers, spay them so no heats and sell as grass fed beef a few months later. Buy in early spring and sell in late fall. I always have extra grass so looking for a way to use it
 

sstterry

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I have no clue on the cost yet but we have a vet school 15 miles from here and the professors bring students to my farm to learn so it would be cheaper than usual.
I have a thought that might work but might not. I sell 10-15 beefs a year and nobody wants a beef over 1000lb. My thought is to buy small frame (short and fat) heifers, spay them so no heats and sell as grass fed beef a few months later. Buy in early spring and sell in late fall. I always have extra grass so looking for a way to use it
As I understand it, if you spay, they need to be implanted with progesterone.
 
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kenny thomas

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We did 300+ last spring. They were going to a feedlot. One way to be certain that they are open. The vet that did it did 50 head an hour. We never had to wait on him, he did occasionally wait on us. I believe it cost us $6 a head. I am certain that it wasn't his first time doing it. We had zero loses.
Did they do it vaginally or in the side? At that speed I'm guessing vaginally.
 

TCRanch

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"Neighbor didn't spay, but used MGA in their feed when he bought stockers. Supposed to keep them from cycling."

How much MGA would you daily feed to a 600lb heifer?
For how long?
How much, I don't know. At that time, I had my bulls in the adjoining pasture and he stopped feeding it when I turned them out/moved them. Even though I no longer keep the bulls over there, he quit buying heifers as stockers.
 

Buck Randall

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"Neighbor didn't spay, but used MGA in their feed when he bought stockers. Supposed to keep them from cycling."

How much MGA would you daily feed to a 600lb heifer?
For how long?
The feeding rate is the same regardless of size. Feed mills will mix it in at the dose you need for your feeding rate. Costs a couple cents per day. Feed continuously until finished.
 
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kenny thomas

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The feeding rate is the same regardless of size. Feed mills will mix it in at the dose you need for your feeding rate. Costs a couple cents per day. Feed continuously until finished.
Wouldn't it be as cheap to spay if I can get it done for lets say $4-$5 a head? And if I'm going to put them on grass much easier also.
 

TCRanch

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And what would that dose be?
My neighbor was also the manager of one of the local Co-Op's (since retired) and I could ask him but the link may help:
 

Buck Randall

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Wouldn't it be as cheap to spay if I can get it done for lets say $4-$5 a head? And if I'm going to put them on grass much easier also.
Yes, assuming no death loss. It's just very hard to find a vet that meets both of those criteria east of the Mississippi.
 

Buck Randall

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If done vaginally what is the risk of death loss.
There are a few risks. The culpotomy tool has to cut through the wall of the vagina to get to the ovary, so there's a chance of introducing infection. Cutting off the ovary comes with a chance of fatal bleeding, not unlike castration. The risk goes up in older heifers. Finally, an unskilled operator can accidentally cut things other than the ovary. Accidentally perforating the bowel doesn't usually end well for the animal.

In the hands of a skilled veterinarian the death loss can be extremely low. If you're having someone who hasn't done it or rarely does it, I'd just make sure you have a good understanding of who takes responsibility if things don't go well.
 

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