Weaning naturally

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sstterry

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True Grit Farms":1ct5t2zg said:
sstterry":1ct5t2zg said:
True Grit Farms":1ct5t2zg said:
I figure 4k pounds of hay per cow, our problem is we don't have any fescue. But I do have some really good winter grazing that we can rotate the cows on. In the spring off the oat, winter rye, clover and ryegrass mix we usually get a couple of months of grazing. I cut most of our pastures for hay one time before the cows ever need it. Everything here depends on moisture, no rain no grass. Last year I sold cows in April because of the drought, and bought bred cows in the middle of June because of all the grass. It turned out to be a bad investment thanks to our POTUS and his tarrifs, or could it be the dirt balls that push paper and raise prices on everything and blame it on the tarrifs?

As much as you know I dislike the President, I don't put the low cattle prices on the tariffs. I think it is the natural cycle. We had very little in beef exports to China. Beef inventories are still high and I personally don't see any relief for a while.
I think your right on everything.....except your dislike. I feel if we stopped importing cheap beef from Mexico and south America we'd see better prices. https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/22/news/e ... index.html
There's no possible way we can compete with Mexico.

I agree totally with what you said except. Query me this, why no tariffs on foreign beef, but everything else? He is not helping the farmer.
 

True Grit Farms

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sstterry":162ro9ck said:
True Grit Farms":162ro9ck said:
sstterry":162ro9ck said:
As much as you know I dislike the President, I don't put the low cattle prices on the tariffs. I think it is the natural cycle. We had very little in beef exports to China. Beef inventories are still high and I personally don't see any relief for a while.
I think your right on everything.....except your dislike. I feel if we stopped importing cheap beef from Mexico and south America we'd see better prices. https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/22/news/e ... index.html
There's no possible way we can compete with Mexico.

I agree totally with what you said except. Query me this, why no tariffs on foreign beef, but everything else? He is not helping the farmer.
Puzzles the heck out of me, he wasn't my choice but was the only choice I had. Especially with Sonny Perdue being the Secretary of Agricultural. He was a vet before he became governor of Georgia and knows about cattle and diseases that can be imported.
 

Katpau

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Redgully":3qkeihv2 said:
Katpau":3qkeihv2 said:
When I give an estimate of cost per cow, I include everything...feed, supplies, repairs, insurance, vaccinations, real estate taxes and or land rent etc. When I heard your estimate of $150 per cow it seemed a bit hard to believe, but I thought perhaps your place in Georgia had so much grass that you never had to buy hay. It still seemed rather low, but you were probably not including many of the fixed costs I include. Then you mentioned feeding 2 tons of hay per cow and I really began to wonder about those numbers.

I don't fertilize at all and grain is too expensive to be at all practical in this area. It takes at least 10+ acres here to support a cow, and summer droughts followed by cold winter rains do mean we must supplement the grass with hay for as many as 5 months out of the year. Looking at my records for the last few years, we have been feeding about 3300 pounds (1.67 tons) per bred cow through the winter. That includes about 1 ton of hay per cow and 2/3 tons of ryegrass screening pellets. They are a cheap by product of the grass seed industry and are usually cheaper than hay. We apparently feed less than you do, but our costs are much higher. I imagine our hay is more expensive than yours, but I find it really hard to believe you can buy 2 tons of hay, vaccinations, fertilizer and the fuel and equipment to apply it for $150 per cow. I will assume you are not including supplies, depreciation, fuel, equipment repairs and many of the other costs associated with this business in that $150, but even just the hay and routine vaccinations would cost me more than that in this area.

What does hay sell for by the ton in Georgia?


In my opinion you are doing a lot right but not fertilising at all is risking bringing you unstuck. Unless you are leasing land which is different but if your land it will cause you to deplete trace elements and lock up minerals and can take many years to correct when really out of balance. It will also cause your good pasture varieties to be overtaken by less desirable weeds. One tonne of fertiliser will well and truely pay for itself in gained production.
Our cattle run on large pastures and much of it is too steep or too heavily wooded to be accessed by anything other than horseback or foot. We carry back pack sprayers into many areas to battle thistles, and we are constantly hacking away and treating the stumps on hawthorne or blackberries, but the thought of climbing around with fertilizer on our backs is more than I would be willing or maybe even capable of. My husband says every pound of hay or screening pellets we bring in eventually passes through the cow and becomes added fertilizer.

A few years ago we did do an experiment on a small area of less steep land where we applied, lime and fertilizer in various combinations leaving a control. We fenced it off into small plots to protect it from the deer, to see what might be most effective. We also threw out some ryegrass seeds on each plot. There was very little difference between the control and the fertilized plots, so we decided further action was a waste of money.
 

Stocker Steve

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Fertilizer returns depend on what the limiting factor is for a system, and how much nutrient recycling is occurring.

Much on the variation in short term trials is due to legume content (which effects N response) and moisture levels (which effect everything).
 

Redgully

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Here they fertilse the hard country by airplane but you need somewhere close by to land and take off or inefficient. Plus having a contactor who is in your vicinity. It would be interesting to see the results of a soil analysis from your paddocks, sometimes you have most things you need but just need to add a couple more ingredients to make it available. Choosing the right fertiliser is the trick and can change from year to year.
 

Stocker Steve

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We have young rocky soils left by glaciers. So high stocking density will increase ph a little, and macro nutrients a lot, by increasing the availability of minerals that are already in the soil.
 

Katpau

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We did try having a plane fly in grass seed one year. It was really exciting to watch. He landed on the sidehills and every time he landed it looked like he was going to crash straight into the side of the hill. We should have tried fertilizer instead, that was my mistake. Anyway, we got a little rain within the week and the grass began to sprout. It was September and our rains would usually start at that time of year, but it went back into about a month of hot and dry and those little sprouts all died. I could have bought 10 tons of hay for the cost, so after that I have never been tempted to try again. We don't get fall rains anymore. It has been quite awhile since we had a rain that arrived before the temperatures have dropped into the 40's or 50's. Our pilot would come every fall from somewhere down South and stay about a month. This summer he hit a cable on a power pole and was killed. I don't know if there will be anyone to replace him.

We have enough feed without fertilizing to feed our herd when the grasses have rain and fertilizer won't help when it is dry. I have no desire to increase the stocking rate, so I won't be spending money on fertilizer, but many in this area do, and it would most likely be a good thing to do if we were planning to expand.
 

T3M

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Oops I thought we were talking about cows guess we switched to wild animals :D . We wean calves at 210 days to give the cow a small break for her body to recover before the next calf gets here. After 4-5 days the cow is glad the little booger is gone and she gets some relief. The calf goes on feed and all is good. I wean behind either a 5 strand barb wire or net wire fence, always in eyesite of each other. I’ve had a few problems in the past but it’s manageable. Not saying this is the best way but it’s easy and it works.
How soon, if ever, do you reunite them? And have you had any trouble with them trying to resume nursing?
 

Stocker Steve

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We did try having a plane fly in grass seed one year. It was really exciting to watch. He landed on the sidehills and every time he landed it looked like he was going to crash straight into the side of the hill. We should have tried fertilizer instead, that was my mistake. Anyway, we got a little rain within the week and the grass began to sprout. It was September and our rains would usually start at that time of year, but it went back into about a month of hot and dry and those little sprouts all died. I could have bought 10 tons of hay for the cost, so after that I have never been tempted to try again. We don't get fall rains anymore. It has been quite awhile since we had a rain that arrived before the temperatures have dropped into the 40's or 50's. Our pilot would come every fall from somewhere down South and stay about a month. This summer he hit a cable on a power pole and was killed. I don't know if there will be anyone to replace him.

We have enough feed without fertilizing to feed our herd when the grasses have rain and fertilizer won't help when it is dry. I have no desire to increase the stocking rate, so I won't be spending money on fertilizer, but many in this area do, and it would most likely be a good thing to do if we were planning to expand.
Fall seeding very risky here too, but it works great farther south and east, where fall rain is more predicable.

Pasture fertilizer return on investment is obviously linked to rain and beef prices. So 2014 and 2015 had great N fertilizer payback here, while 2020 and 2021 were big losers.

The ROI studies I have seen in dryer climates like the plains support by product supplementation of stockers to provide additional pasture N. Pasture Pee rules.

Our wetter pastures want to grow clover, so that is the lowest cost N source for us.
 
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Brute 23

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Most your Brahman influence cattle will wean their calf before the next is born. I've seen cows with 2 or 3 generations of calves in tow but only the smallest was milking.
 

Lucky

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How soon, if ever, do you reunite them? And have you had any trouble with them trying to resume nursing?
The only time I’ll reunite them permanently is when retaining heifers. When keeping heifers it might be a year or more before I turn them back in with the cow herd. I’ve had the weaned calves get back with the cows accidentally a few times and even after 2-3 months some will try and suck. In general though I’d want to wait at least 12-16 weeks before putting calves back with their mothers. Another thing to think of is some vaccinations you give weaning calves can make the mother cows abort if they get back together and nurse too soon. Just need to be sure and read the labels on this.
 

gcreekrch

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Our heifers don’t go with the cow herd until they have their second calf. Easier to manage them for feed and supplements away from mature cows.
 

southalberta

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Hi,
Anyone leave it up to the cow on when to wean the calf? Certainly not my plan, just curious if a cow would eventually wean the calf in time for the next delivery. Occasionally I’ll have one that is an escape artist and will get back with the herd... yesterday saw it carefully crossing a cattle guard - but made it. Just looking for the odds of success/disaster for the next calf. I bet there are some who don’t wean at all, and let nature run the course?
Thanks for your thoughts.
They wean very close to next calf save colostrum for new babies seems to be instinct. Some just don’t care good hormone release
Some allow only 1-2 quarters. Nature doesn’t allow close calving season end up 10 months a year after time (yes experience.)
 

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