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Stocker Steve

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Seems like large successful cow_calf operations have either cheap pasture leases or cheap crop residue wintering. A few have both by trucking their cows around.

Obviously utilizing these cheap feeds will effect your approach to calving and weaning.
 

BFE

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What works for me... calving 3-15 thru 6-15. Would like that tighter, but when you have purchased animals it’s hard to get it perfect. It is getting better every year though. If feb was froze solid I'd calve then but it’s mostly cold mud. Wean in nov-dec so cows don’t have a calf sucking through the worst weather.
 

TCRanch

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TCRanch> On average the weather will be better as the sun approaces Mar 21. One can only shoot for a better
average temperature. Is there a reason other than tradition for you selling calves in the fall? Selling calves in the fall results in your cows only working 7 or 8 and at most 9 months out of the year. A cow is an asset, yes, but next to
yourself should be the hardest working employee you have. What other employee in your operation is getting
paid (eating) for 12 months and producing 8 months? As to accounting and marketing schedules that may be
subjects for you to visit in conjuction with a review of the calving schedule. Just try not to see yourself boxed
into the status quo. Good Luck
A lot of it is tradition. At least around here, the market is better for Spring calves sold in the Fall but we've also done well holding them over until Jan/early Feb the following year (and that's contingent on whether they're turned out on the brome).
 
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gcreekrch

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There are other reasons we calve when we do besides ultimate timing for best weather at calving. Number one is our grass is at its best during July.
We go to 30,000 acres of open range in May 25 and we don’t have the manpower to watch cattle scattered over hundreds of swamp meadows and Jack pine forests. As mentioned the predators would soon learn of the easy pickings and be worse than they are.
Not prepared to build more fence on crown land at my expense either.

So, we do what works best for us amongst the rest of the management for this ranch and deal with the things we have to deal with.

On the bright side, we don’t have snakes, alligators, ticks, poisonous spiders, alligators, tornados, hurricanes or close neighbours.

Life is good!
I should have added that having best grass in July is when we turn bulls out. Cows are cycling like crazy and that is how we can achieve such a tight calving interval.
 
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gcreekrch

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What works for me... calving 3-15 thru 6-15. Would like that tighter, but when you have purchased animals it’s hard to get it perfect. It is getting better every year though. If feb was froze solid I'd calve then but it’s mostly cold mud. Wean in nov-dec so cows don’t have a calf sucking through the worst weather.
A good start to tightening calving is to limit bulls on your replacement heifers to 2 cycles or less. Ship the opens with no remorse as they have shown they don’t want to work for what you pay.
 

Dave

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Here we calf 2/1 to 4/1. Cows go out to BLM allotments around 4/15-4/20. Calves need to be branded before turned out and big enough to follow mom through the hills. There is one guy who was calving later (May-June). He would just turn them out and let them calf in the hills But he now has wolves on his range land. Calving in a wolf neighborhood can be a issue.
 

TCRanch

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A good start to tightening calving is to limit bulls on your replacement heifers to 2 cycles or less. Ship the opens with no remorse as they have shown they don’t want to work for what you pay.
Shipped some perfectly good cow/calf pairs that were later in the season, just to tighten my calving window. And opens. Maybe no remorse, but it still hurt.
 

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