Allenw wrote:Sounds like a train wreck to me. I can't help but think there will be a lot of crippled animals and some dead animals in the end with a 1 to 1.5 bull to cow ratio.
How do you get to a 1.0 : 1.5 bull to cow ratio?
Year 1 = 2017 = existing herd sires in with existing cows on a 1 : 40 ratio (350 cows and 50 2016-born heifers to go with 10 bulls in a single grazing / breeding mob) ... bulls pulled out on September 1st and are sold putting the bull to cow ratio at 0 : 400 ... calves born earlier in 2017 (all 350 of them) are weaned on December 1st, at the same time the cows and 2016-born heifers are preg-checked ... pretending that 80% of the cows and 60% of the heifers are bred (both poor rates, but being a transition year into a new program will lead to fall out) will lead to selling 70 mama cows and 20 open heifers as grass-fed ground beef to a local wholesale buyer ... and, also pretending for a second that I'm able to talk him into (a) getting rid of the dinkiest 10% of his heifer crop (18 culls out of 175 calves) and (b) the bottom 70% of his bull calf crop (122 culls out of 175 calves) at weaning we will use those numbers to head into the second year ...
Year 2 = 2018 = 2017-born heifers (all 157 of them that are left) are reintroduced to the herd of 280 bred cows and 30 bred heifers in mid-February 2018 ... with 53 bulls still "somewhere else" getting ready to be reintroduced to the cow herd (he has pasture for this many young bulls about 2 miles from his cows and heifers) ... during the winter and spring, he (say) culls 8 bulls for temperament and/or injury getting him down to 45 yearling bulls for the next year ... in July 2018, he puts the 45 bulls with 300 pairs (pretend that 10 died during calving (5 cows and 5 heifers); again a high rate) and 150 heifers (7 of which he culled out of the original group of 157 for death, injury or temperament at some point between weaning and breeding season) ... which is a ratio of 45 bulls to 450 females (300 cows and 150 heifers) or 1 : 10 ... and then, after breeding season (if he follows my suggestion and pulls DNA on all his bulls so he can DNA test his calves for parentage) he'll sell the bulls that, in his mind are probably the 15 worst performers keeping 30 through the winter ... and in December, he'll wean the 2018 born calves, preg check the females and sell the opens (est. 33% of his female group, or 150 open females), and also sell (again) the bottom 10% of the heifer class and, raising the bar, the bottom 80% of the bull calf class (leaving 135 heifers and 30 bulls on the farm; the 135 heifers go back in with the females in mid-February and the 30 yearling bulls hang out with the 30 bulls left over from the previous year)
Year 3 = 2019 = 135 heifers go in with the cows in mid-February ... calves come (around) May 1st out of 300 mama cows and all 300 are DNA tested for parentage ... once parentage is determined, pretending that only 30 calves were sired (total) by the 15 bulls that had already been sold, and of the other 270 calves sired, 200 of them were by five bulls (the remaining 70 calves came from the other 25 bulls that were still around ... those 25 bulls can be sold as guaranteed breeders to some other operation interested in his genetics (if any) and if not, sold to the grass-fed ground beef market ... where the top 10 breeders get a 2nd summer ... while this is going on, he culls 5 heifers for temperament / health issues between weaning and breeding season ... and ... then, in July 2019, 5 2yr old bulls and 30 yearling bulls (30% of the prior year's bull calves) go in with 300 cows and 130 heifers for a 35 : 430 ratio ... then the bulls are pulled in September and all 2yr olds are sold (to anyone wanting his genetics, and if not, to grass-fed ground beef) and the bottom 1/3rd of the yearlings are sold, overwintering 30 long-yearling bulls again ... preg-checks and weaning happens in December and since it's their 2nd year in the program, there is less fall out and so only 25% of the cows are open ... resulting in the sale of 105 females (cows and heifers) and him carrying 325 bred cows and heifers over the winter ... to go along with 5 coming two-year old bulls (after culling out the lower libido bulls from the prior year) and 30 yearling bulls.
At no time would his bull to cow ratio ever approach 1.0 : 1.5.