When to turn out Bulls for expected calving date

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Banjo

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According to the gestation table if a cow is bred on June 1st....she will be due March 10th. I shoot for around March 15th due date. So assuming most of them are in heat at turn out then everything would be right on schedule. but they might not be any in heat at turn out and could be a week or two before they are....so do you turn the bulls out a week or two early to allow for that?
 

Dsth

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make sure you are looking at a gestation table for the breed that you have. different breeds can have different average days gestation. normal gestation is 10 days before or 10 days after due date. Silver has given you good advise and you should base your turn out date accordingly.
 

Ky hills

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We usually have some that come a week or so early so for me the actual turn out date is a little arbitrary and kind of just a guideline to know when to start watching close around a couple weeks prior to the projected day. I had said after this winter that I was waiting until June to turn the bulls out, but have already turned a bull in with the heifers last week, and will put the other bulls with cows around the 23rd of May.
 

wbvs58

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In my experience as soon as you turn the bull in he has work to do. Seems to me that his presence there seem to turn the girls on and in a short time they are all lining up to visit him.

Ken
 

TCRanch

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All good answers! And I'll add to the above: I wasn't supposed to start calving until March 5th this year but my old swing bag dropped hers Feb 19th and another 11 year old cow on the 20th - both calves fully developed and freakishly big, considering how early they were. And that just happened to be during the epic freeze & snow that no one really predicted would be that bad or last that long. I'm absolutely not the only one around here that had a lot of unexpected, early calves.

So, by all means, use the gestation calculator as a guide. Expect at least a few to come early. And pray Mother Nature doesn't throw another curve ball.
 
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Banjo

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In my experience as soon as you turn the bull in he has work to do. Seems to me that his presence there seem to turn the girls on and in a short time they are all lining up to visit him.

Ken
I always thought that they were in different stages of the cycle....if they cycle every 21 days will they speed up the cycle when they get around a bull?
 

wbvs58

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I don't know for sure, only my observations but I suspect the presence of the bull will bring some into heat that have not yet cycled after calving. Several years ago one of my yearling bulls went over two fences to get into the neighbours yearling heifers, he spent less than 24 hours in there and of the 20 heifers 5 calved a clear month before the others started from when his bull went in. If you went on random statistics of 21 day cycles you would only expect 1 or 2 to be in heat, I suspect his presence was enough to tip those that were on the brink of cycling over the edge.

Ken
 

coachg

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My grandpa always turned out the bull June 15th; I turn out closer to the 1st . You will have some that may breed that first day but I think it may take a few days for them to get to know each other . I’ll have a few to calve early but more will be closer to that date I want .
 

Wind and Sage

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These are all very good answers. I shoot for an April 3rd calving start date, which to me means that I need to have the cows and heifers located in their respective calving pastures no later than March 20th. That gives me a two week leeway period, and I will always have cows and especially heifers calve before the official starting date. The heifers tend to be earlier than the cows. I don't know if that is because of their age, or that sometimes "heifer bulls" tend to genetically have a little bit shorter gestation time. As an added note to the March 20th prepare date, I made a list, several years ago, of important things to make sure you have, such as eartags, medicines, etc. and you don't want to be wondering where chains, straps or a calf puller five minutes for you need. it.
 
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