Weaning some heifers early

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talltimber
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby talltimber » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:48 am

I agree, it was hard to follow. I edited. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn't.
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Brute 23
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby Brute 23 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:30 am

talltimber wrote:You are not gonna breed one that's not cycling. Twenty four months for a heifer to cycle? I don't breed that young, but I could have two before yours calve once, easy, with the right bull the first time. You're not saying the one calf will bring more than the two now, talking about peanuts or something?
Options
1. calve at 22 mo and again at 34 or
2. calve the first time at 32-36
Heifer bull yes, more problems? not necessarily.

I am guessing you run a bull with yours year round? The reason I ask is that apparently it's tough to keep your type cattle on a 12 mo schedule. I am thinking since you keep heifers on them for ten months that may be the case? Not the cause of not staying on a 12 mo schedule, but the reason why it's not a big deal to leave heifers on them so long, because they are more like on a 13-14 mo schedule?


A lot of people start breeding heifers at 14-16 months old. I prefer to wait until around 20 months old.

We have spring and fall calving properties. Bulls stay one the spring calving properties for 6 mo, then go to the fall calving properties for 6 mo.

If you have a spring born heifer she is better off being moved to the fall property. She will see her first bull around 18-21 months old.

For example, if a heifer is born in the spring (March-May) she could stay in that pasture until she is around 12 months old when the bull comes back. Then technically you can take them to the fall places because there are no bulls there. By the time the bulls go to the fall place they are ready to breed.

Brahman influenced cattle will wean their calves on their own. When you pull the heifers it's more about over coming the mental aspect of being away from their mommas, not actually weaning them off milk.

I always pull my heifers to the home place to cube break and work for a couple months. Before the leave they will understand that I am the hand that feeds them and I decide who stays and who goes.

It is very efficient and easy on me to operate. You don't have to hold bulls in a special bull pen and you technically wouldn't have to hold heifers either. No special heifer bulls. I am debating dropping the fall calving season. At that point it would be a full 24 months before a heifer would be exposed to a bull. Not exactly sure how I want to do that yet.

I've had like 1 calving problem in 12 years. The heifers don't get special treatment other than time to develope. Most all the heifers breed the first month as soon as the bull hits. They raise big calves that are ready to go. None of this you can keep heifers from heifers stuff.

In that system, if a calf is born in March, the bull will be back in June. If she starts cycling at 4-6mo what do you do? That's crazy.
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callmefence
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby callmefence » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:57 am

I'll bow in and bow out. Brute's way is very common in Texas and very similar to mine. I do keep bulls in most of my place's year round. There's a dam far leap between a heifer cycling at 4 to 6 months and breeding at say 18 months.
I would consider a heifer cycling at that age a nightmare and get her off my place immediately. Nothing female cycling that young can be anything but a pita. :2cents:
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talltimber
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby talltimber » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:24 am

Brute 23 wrote:
talltimber wrote:You are not gonna breed one that's not cycling. Twenty four months for a heifer to cycle? I don't breed that young, but I could have two before yours calve once, easy, with the right bull the first time. You're not saying the one calf will bring more than the two now, talking about peanuts or something?
Options
1. calve at 22 mo and again at 34 or
2. calve the first time at 32-36
Heifer bull yes, more problems? not necessarily.

I am guessing you run a bull with yours year round? The reason I ask is that apparently it's tough to keep your type cattle on a 12 mo schedule. I am thinking since you keep heifers on them for ten months that may be the case? Not the cause of not staying on a 12 mo schedule, but the reason why it's not a big deal to leave heifers on them so long, because they are more like on a 13-14 mo schedule?


A lot of people start breeding heifers at 14-16 months old. I prefer to wait until around 20 months old.

We have spring and fall calving properties. Bulls stay one the spring calving properties for 6 mo, then go to the fall calving properties for 6 mo.

If you have a spring born heifer she is better off being moved to the fall property. She will see her first bull around 18-21 months old.

For example, if a heifer is born in the spring (March-May) she could stay in that pasture until she is around 12 months old when the bull comes back. Then technically you can take them to the fall places because there are no bulls there. By the time the bulls go to the fall place they are ready to breed.

Brahman influenced cattle will wean their calves on their own. When you pull the heifers it's more about over coming the mental aspect of being away from their mommas, not actually weaning them off milk.

I always pull my heifers to the home place to cube break and work for a couple months. Before the leave they will understand that I am the hand that feeds them and I decide who stays and who goes.

It is very efficient and easy on me to operate. You don't have to hold bulls in a special bull pen and you technically wouldn't have to hold heifers either. No special heifer bulls. I am debating dropping the fall calving season. At that point it would be a full 24 months before a heifer would be exposed to a bull. Not exactly sure how I want to do that yet.

I've had like 1 calving problem in 12 years. The heifers don't get special treatment other than time to develope. Most all the heifers breed the first month as soon as the bull hits. They raise big calves that are ready to go. None of this you can keep heifers from heifers stuff.

In that system, if a calf is born in March, the bull will be back in June. If she starts cycling at 4-6mo what do you do? That's crazy.


That sounds like it works real good for you. I can see if a guy has some numbers it would be better, so you can put a few even sets together out of your 6 mo season. Maybe they all breed pretty quick and its not that big of a size spread in the calves? I was under the impression, due to studies I had looked at, that it would be very few brahman hfrs cycling that young, 18-20 months. I know some people that wait to 30 months to breed Angus hfrs, Dad was one of them. He'd roll hfrs one season, fall to spring, or vice versa, but he only ran cow bulls too. Worked good for him, but he had enough to put even sets of calves together, 90 day seasons. I am on a 60 season, not very many cows, so I need all mine as close as possible. Calve Sept and Oct, put bulls in Dec 10-12 ish. Cut bull calves mid to late Nov. Pull bulls in Feb., with a hfr age of around 5 mo max. There are not many cycling then, and ones that are, I maybe can pull them to another pasture here on the same place. It's not a problem, I've always got somewhere to go with them, and gentle so I can ease them around and do whatever I need to. I watch them pretty close, so I will have an idea that the cow was already bred anyway by then. I don't have many calves past the first three weeks or so of calving season. If a guy can't handle them, due to time or facilities or whatever, and left small size bulls on a long time, I could see it being a problem. Even if it just meant he needed to lute at weaning. I don't have to do that.
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talltimber
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby talltimber » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:29 am

callmefence wrote:I'll bow in and bow out. Brute's way is very common in Texas and very similar to mine. I do keep bulls in most of my place's year round. There's a dam far leap between a heifer cycling at 4 to 6 months and breeding at say 18 months.
I would consider a heifer cycling at that age a nightmare and get her off my place immediately. Nothing female cycling that young can be anything but a pita. :2cents:


Yeah I wouldn't want one cycling before 20 months they might get bred and have a calf. That would suck.
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby callmefence » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:08 am

talltimber wrote:
callmefence wrote:I'll bow in and bow out. Brute's way is very common in Texas and very similar to mine. I do keep bulls in most of my place's year round. There's a dam far leap between a heifer cycling at 4 to 6 months and breeding at say 18 months.
I would consider a heifer cycling at that age a nightmare and get her off my place immediately. Nothing female cycling that young can be anything but a pita. :2cents:


Yeah I wouldn't want one cycling before 20 months they might get bred and have a calf. That would suck.


I would consider that to long in the other direction. There is quite a difference between the 6 and 20.
Although I would prefer 20 over 6.
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:39 am

Pure bloods can go 24 months but just going to F1s will knock it back to 18 months easy.

The only reason the bull is in for 6 months is so I don't have to put him in his own pasture. Most cows are bred early and he is just chillin the last half. It also allows for me to take cows from spring to fall or vise-versa and never skip a beat.

I don't understand why people pull bulls after their calving window. If she is late regularly you will know by her calf, but at least you have a calf to sell with her. You pull the bull and you either have to palpate or wait for no calf. Either way you got nothing to sell. Only thing that comes to mind is extreme weather.
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Re: Weaning some heifers early

Postby FlyingLSimmentals » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:46 am

Wean here mostly at 6 - 7 months old. Occasionally between 8 - 9. Usually wait 30 - 40 days after weaning and give them lute just to be safe. Its a cheap way to be safe. Most usually aren't bred anyway but it keeps that occasional one from seeping through the cracks. Just shocked by how early two came in heat this year.
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