Spring or Fall Calving

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In the majority of places there is no "better".
With spring calving the calves are just startingto need the extra nutrition about the time the grass really starts growing well, you may get hit with some seriously crappy weather and you'll be marketing your calves the same time as the majority of others.
With fall calving you have to supplement the cows and calves during the winter, you ma get hit with crappy weather and you'll be weaning about the time the grass really get's going. There will be fewer calves but a higher demand in the spring with better prices. The problem is you have more in them then you do spring calves. I know several herds that both spring and fall calve. The ones I've asked claim that it's about a wash. The bottom line is about the same when you figure prices and costs. But this way they don;t have all their eggs in one basket.


Jamie":1rjy2773 said:
Which is better spring or fall calving and what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Dun pretty well summed it up. The fall calves seem to grow faster than the spring calves, but that could be the pasture quality that they are on. a good percentage of our spring pairs go to a crappy piece of grass. But beggars can't be choosers
It all depends on your feed resources. We have to feed hay from october thru may most years so december calves work for us. We have experimented with most calving seasons including the all year round one. We decided that a Dec/feb season might work best. This will allow us to wean the calves at 8 to 9 months when we have a pasture crunch in august. Our goal is to sell 800 lb animals to the feedlot industy in maine. We can precondition/prevac for 45 days and sell in october. The 2nd benefit for us is we can AI the herd when we do not have alot of other projects going and can keep better watch of the cows and calves. 3rd benefit is we have far less scour and other sickness problems with calving at this time of year. The draw backs are better quality hay needed, closer attention to cows calving due to cold weather, some calves get frozend ears. Inventory your feed resources for your operation and let that dictate which season you calve in. No one season is best for all parts of the country.
Jamie -- as has been said, a lot depends on your location and available forage. I know several fairly large outfits in Texas that really like to calve in October and November. At that time the weather is mild and the small calves aren't that much of a drag on the mature cows at a time when forage is more sparse and of poorer quality. But by the time we get spring greenup in later February to March those calves are big and old enough to really take advantage of the lush forage. They can be sold in late summer to all the north Texas wheat guys or the hill country oat field guys. Arnold Ziffle
There are advantages and dis-advantages to both calving seasons. These all depend upon your climate and pasture quality. I calve in both spring and fall and never in the dead of summer. I prefer spring calves soley because I hate my mamma cows getting drawn down so bad in the winter months, but never the less I still prefer two stabs at the market a year instead of one.

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