Calving questions

Got a calving or breeding question? Get an answer.
User avatar
Putangitangi
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:48 pm
Location: Aotearoa - New Zealand

Calving questions

Postby Putangitangi » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:01 pm

I've searched every way I can think of for a figure on the daily weight gain of a calf before birth in the last few days of gestation. This prompted by having to pull a monster calf out of a 3-yr second calver, who calved 11 days later than I expected to an AI bull. I suspect the trouble was all down to how fat that baby got while it lay around not having to work to eat! Anyone have that information to hand?
0 x

User avatar
Son of Butch
GURU
GURU
Posts: 3895
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:44 pm
Location: Frost Bite Falls, Minnesota

Re: Calving questions

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:25 am

I don't know...It can't be more than 2 pounds a day, or can it?
0 x

angus9259
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:29 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Calving questions

Postby angus9259 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:01 pm

Anecdotally, I see about 1 lb per day from 10 days early to 10 days late (20 lb total swing).
0 x

User avatar
Fire Sweep Ranch
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2294
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:43 am
Location: SW MO
Contact:

Re: Calving questions

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:46 pm

From what I understand through reading, calves gain about 2 pounds a day in utero the last few weeks prior to birth.
0 x
God, family, and Simmental cattle; that's what makes life worth living!

User avatar
Supa Dexta
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1780
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:33 am
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Calving questions

Postby Supa Dexta » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:44 pm

1-1.5 would be typical.
0 x

wbvs58
GURU
GURU
Posts: 3196
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:45 am
Location: S.E. Queensland, Australia

Re: Calving questions

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:29 pm

I have an older text book, Veterinary Obstetrics by Roberts that is very good at giving accurate statistics and it states that at 240 days fetal weight is 15-25kg (33-55lbs) and at 270 days it is 20-50kg (44-110lbs) so subtracting that makes it 5-25kg (11-55lbs) in the last 30days.

Ken
0 x

User avatar
Putangitangi
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:48 pm
Location: Aotearoa - New Zealand

Re: Calving questions

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:34 am

Thank you for all those answers.
We just pulled another one, eight days over my expected date.

Next question I couldn't find an answer to: what are your experiences/observations of gestation length differences in different sorts of seasons? We've had a horrible winter, much wetter than usual, so would have been a colder experience for the cows and while my average gestation is only about .5 day longer than usual, some have been much longer than I expected.
0 x

User avatar
Supa Dexta
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1780
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:33 am
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Calving questions

Postby Supa Dexta » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:34 am

They'll eat more to maintain body temp when the weather is worse and if cattle have good feed available, eating more = larger calves.
1 x

User avatar
dun
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 46998
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 10:34 am
Location: MO Ozarks

Re: Calving questions

Postby dun » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:11 am

Cold winters is known to contribute to larger calves. The cows blood supply being routed more internally is claimed to be the cause.
2 x
"“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” ― Aristotle

Air gator
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Calving questions

Postby Air gator » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:11 am

I lost a heifer and her calf and she was 2 weeks early. I was scared to death that every other cow on the place was going to have problems because they were all fed the same. I didn't have any other problems.
Starving the cow won't help with calving ease. What was the accuracy of the bull's epds for calving ease or birth weight?
All the research I have seen shows that feeding the cow increases birth weight but not calving problems.
I think you picked the wrong bull. It happens to the best of us.

I think that's why the Angus Association moved from the focus on Birth weights to calving ease epds as well as CEM Calving Ease Maternal. Some bulls have higher birth weights but not as many calving problems because of the shape of the calf.

There is a post on here under the Artificial Insemination thread about the Angus bull Absolute and his short gestation period.
1 x

angus9259
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:29 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Calving questions

Postby angus9259 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:38 pm

Air gator wrote:Starving the cow won't help with calving ease. What was the accuracy of the bull's epds for calving ease or birth weight?
All the research I have seen shows that feeding the cow increases birth weight but not calving problems.
I think you picked the wrong bull. It happens to the best of us.


X2
1 x

User avatar
Nesikep
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 12344
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:37 pm
Location: Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Calving questions

Postby Nesikep » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:23 pm

I found the best way to mitigate late calving cows is exercise... when they stand around and do nothing but eat, they seem to calve later and thus have bigger calves.. At least make them walk to the water as far as you can manage.
0 x
The only possible end result of treating all animals like people is that all people will be treated like animals

User avatar
Putangitangi
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:48 pm
Location: Aotearoa - New Zealand

Re: Calving questions

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:02 pm

dun wrote:Cold winters is known to contribute to larger calves. The cows blood supply being routed more internally is claimed to be the cause.
That was what I read too.

The bulls I've used have good accuracy (98% or so at the lowest) for below breed-average birth weights - and CE/CED was generally part of my consideration. The big pull the other night was a Bon View New Design 878, the heifer who calved the day before at a more reasonable gestation slipped hers out on her own.

Feed restriction here is by no means deliberate. I have had sad opportunities before to note how much trouble that will cause in late pregnancy and calving, hence dropping herd numbers to ensure feed is adequate. We have been caught out by a particularly nasty winter and spring but the long gestations have certainly added difficulty.
0 x

User avatar
Putangitangi
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:48 pm
Location: Aotearoa - New Zealand

Re: Calving questions

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:04 pm

Nesikep wrote:I found the best way to mitigate late calving cows is exercise... when they stand around and do nothing but eat, they seem to calve later and thus have bigger calves.. At least make them walk to the water as far as you can manage.
:D Water? You have to be kidding. They're standing in the stuff this year. We farm small paddocks with good reticulation so exercise is always shutting them in hill paddocks, where they at least have to walk up to graze and down to drink regularly. I don't like them calving in those places though, too many dangers, so they come down to the flats as soon as I know they've hit about 273 days, since usually my cows start then. The cheats who wait another two weeks are problematic!
0 x

User avatar
Nesikep
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 12344
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:37 pm
Location: Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Calving questions

Postby Nesikep » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:35 pm

haha, yeah, I have the same problem, I can't make them move as much as I'd like... but my cows only start to think of calving around 283 days, many going into 290's
0 x
The only possible end result of treating all animals like people is that all people will be treated like animals


Return to “Breeding / Calving Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests