Stop feeding grain prior to calving?

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dun

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ez14.":x4dz98qg said:
NonTypicalCPA":x4dz98qg said:
Sorry I can't seem to figure out how to post from my phone. This heifer was only 19 months when she calved, which could have contributed to the mis-presentation. We did reposition the calf and then had to pull. The heifer was exhausted with her eyes rolled back into her head - thought I might loose both of them. Fortunately they both turned out great and that bull calf brought me $2,000 this spring. I just don't want to be doing something that would contribute to another pull. I have very nice pastures with good grass and clover for them. This now cow has never had a problem keeping weight on her, even when nursing her calf last summer. Thanks for all the feedback.
at that point it's not surprising you had a little trouble! but i wouldn't think the grain had much if anything to do with it
I don;t think it did either
 

BK9954

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First calf of the year. Bred by a un registered virgin brangus bull. I cut feed last 3 months to hay, mineral and about 6 pounds a week of 11% cattle feed, just to keep her happy. She popped him out in about 30 seconds. I figure he is about 10 pounds lighter but a successful birth is what I wanted and they will both catch up on weight shortly, and I will celebrate they both lived to see another day. But the hay was quality tifton 85 and quality haygrazer, both heavily fertilized and weed free. I did the same thing with her for her first calf and she bred back in 2 months. But heck, shes a tigerstripe, enough said.
 

BK9954

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farmguy":28hawhvl said:
I am just wondering. My cows never see grain and we live in Minnesota, -40F not unheard. How many of you guys feed grain to your cows? My cattle see grain until after weaning and until sold a couple months later for preconditioning. thanks farmguy.
Hey farm guy, I never feed straight grain as grain. I feed cattle feed that the feed store mixes whick has a mix of grain, corn, cotton meal etc...... Thats what we do round here... and those are usually before sales or guys running registered from what I see, or if your pastures or hay just suck. Some guys feed cotton seed but since that can make bulls infertile I stay away from anything with straight cottonseed completely. Even anything with too much cotton anything I wont use too much of.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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COWS should be able to breed back consistently in 12 months on grass & hay. Nothing more. My heifer CALVES get 5# shell corn/hd/day from shortly after weaning thru breeding. Once we have grass and they are turned out, they are not grained (unless they make it into the showstring LOL). I prefer growing my heifers out good before breeding, so that they are in good condition at breeding time (BCS 6) and maintain that condition thru calving. I keep my coming 2 & 3 year olds separate from the mature cows from fall thru calving until they are turned out on grass. 2 & 3 yr olds will lose condition thru the winter if they have to compete with mature cows for hay.
But, if you have thin cows, you are money ahead to grain them to try to improve their BCS before calving.
 

jdg

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In South GA, we have the good fortune of having the ability to graze year round...that is, if we have either rain or irrigation, and understand how to manage stocking rate. That being said, I really resonate with Burt Teichert's ideas regarding heifer development, which is to quickly flash breed heifers (less than two cycles) at around %55-%60 of mature body weight. I can do this on high quality perennials or annuals without supplementation. This selects for the early maturing cows that work in your environment. You have to keep extra heifers to develop, because many will fall out. I actually breed for 2 to 3 cycles, date the pregnancies via ultrasound, and sell the later breds as bred heifers. (still a lot of selection pressure considering the development program). Once they are bred, you then keep good nutrition to them through weaning their first calf. (in my case, high quality forages...although you could supplement at this point) so that they calve at BCS 5-6. Otherwise, they will struggle to raise a decent calf. I have had a few runty calf crops learning this lesson. I believe that putting fertility pressure early will pay dividends down the road towards reproductive longevity. A true calving ease bull will help, but the heifer's CED and BW scores matter as well, regarding an unassisted birth. High quality hay would work as a development too as well, but might be more expensive than grain or other supplementation. I do think it is important though to select for forage conversion early on as a selection tool.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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jdg - very good points & reasons. You and I have the same end point goal --- calving heifers at 5-6 BCS. In my case, feeding 5#/hd/day to weaned heifers thru breeding is the most economical & easiest time to supplement. This time frame is through our brutal winters. Different weather/winters and different management, but ultimately striving for the 2-year old calving, breeding back and raising a good calf - as cheap as possible on grass & hay the rest of their lives. I breed the whole herd for 60 days, so we are looking at 2-3 cycles also. And my heifers/cows are strictly AI bred now.
 
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NonTypicalCPA

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I thought I'd give an update on this thread. My cow in question gave birth to a healthy heifer calf last Thursday evening without assistance. I had been checking on her pretty regularly and ended up missing the birth in about a three hour window, so it must have been pretty easy.









First picture is Thursday night very soon after birth. Last picture is of mom, dad, and calf.
 
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