steer or rear

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Well-known member
Aug 25, 2008
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isle of wight united kingdom
how long do you leave it before you decide weather to steer a calf or leave him as a bull. calf just been born weighing 73lbs. i have ebvs for sire but nothing for the heifer so cant realy predict the outcome. i have read that some dont keep the first calf. why is this? forgot to say its a hereford and will post pics soon
Long long ago in a land far far away some people used a junk bull just to get heifers to calve (some people still do). The not keeping calves from first calvers goes back to that.
We have specific cows that are bred strictly to produce bulls. These are cows that we feel are good enough quality to be bull mothers. More choozy about bull mothers then heifer mothers, but not much. Unless a bull is born from one of those specific matings, they get cut at spring workup. May be anywhere from 2 months to a couple of days old at the time.
As Dun eluded to - being out of a first calf heifer is NOT a reason to castrate. He passed the first "litmis" test - right birth weight. Now, he needs to show the ability to GROW, have great phenotype, structurally correct, and good breed characteristics.
But, remember, just because he has a "pair" does NOT mean he is breeding quality. Too many people think they should sell breeding bulls, and that every bull born is breeding stock. We castrate all the way up to about a month prior to weaning. Generally, we only sell 10-20% male calf crop as breeding bulls.

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