How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Winterose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi guys,

I was trying to find it on here but i did not see it so I'm sorry if this is a repeat post.

With having your own back yard dairy cow how often do you need to rebreed to have another calf? and is there a period when you need to stop milking before you rebreed? if not can you still milk her while she is preg with the new calf? what do you do if you are a family cow person with all these calfs?

help?

thanks
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby regolith » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:11 pm

If you want a calf at the same time every year, breed her on the heat closest to twelve weeks after calving. Be prepared to repeat the breeding three weeks later if she hasn't got pregnant.

Nine months from her breeding date is her due to calve date, so you would milk her every day from the day she calves until 7 - 8 weeks before she is due to calve again; this allows her udder time to dry down, rest, and beginning producing colostrum for the new calf.

What you do with the calves? Depends how much land you've got. You can keep them, sell them, eat them, grow heifers into new milk cows if you want. If you choose to keep a bull calf castrate him early. They make great lawnmowers.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Winterose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:14 pm

regolith wrote:If you want a calf at the same time every year, breed her on the heat closest to twelve weeks after calving. Be prepared to repeat the breeding three weeks later if she hasn't got pregnant.

Nine months from her breeding date is her due to calve date, so you would milk her every day from the day she calves until 7 - 8 weeks before she is due to calve again; this allows her udder time to dry down, rest, and beginning producing colostrum for the new calf.

What you do with the calves? Depends how much land you've got. You can keep them, sell them, eat them, grow heifers into new milk cows if you want. If you choose to keep a bull calf castrate him early. They make great lawnmowers.


So a milk cow needs to be bred every year?
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Backbone Ranch » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:08 pm

You should breed a dairy cow every year for optimum milk production. You can milk her 10 months out of the year and then let her recover and put weight back on for the last 2 months of gestation. If you want to raise beef for yourself, I would recommend breeding to a beef breed so the calf would have more meat. I have attached a photo of a Guernsey x Murray Grey steer. He is shown as a 2 year old who has only eaten grass. He had a 904 lb carcass and a 1490 lbs.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Winterose » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:51 pm

Thanks!
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby TexasBred » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:24 pm

[quote="Backbone Ranch"]You should breed a dairy cow every year for optimum milk production. You can milk her 10 months out of the year and then let her recover and put weight back on for the last 2 months of gestation. If you want to raise beef for yourself, I would recommend breeding to a beef breed so the calf would have more meat. I have attached a photo of a Guernsey x Murray Grey steer. He is shown as a 2 year old who has only eaten grass. He had a 904 lb carcass and a 1490 lbs.

Commercial dairy operators certainly expect them to milk 10 months althought it may end up being 10 months out of 14 months.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby TexasBred » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:24 pm

[quote="Backbone Ranch"]You should breed a dairy cow every year for optimum milk production. You can milk her 10 months out of the year and then let her recover and put weight back on for the last 2 months of gestation. If you want to raise beef for yourself, I would recommend breeding to a beef breed so the calf would have more meat. I have attached a photo of a Guernsey x Murray Grey steer. He is shown as a 2 year old who has only eaten grass. He had a 904 lb carcass and a 1490 lbs.

Commercial dairy operators certainly expect them to milk 10 months althought it may end up being 10 months out of 14 months.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Winterose » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:59 pm

Thanks everyone!
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Nelson143 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:34 pm

I know a lot of people n the dairy biz and none are making much $ from milking cows. It may appear some are doing pretty good but most of them are also farming a lot of acres. I have a cousin who dairys and has been for his entire life and he's doing very well but it's not from the 200 cows he milks. Its from the 5000 acres they farm. Mostly wheat.I don't know of a job that requires so much time and work for so littlMine only tolerate this when I throw down some cubes, otherwise they will kick them off. If you will tag the calves as soon as you can after they are born and keep good records, you shouldn't have a problem recognizing the pairs. :deadhorse:
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby bigbull338 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:03 am

if you run a dairy you wont get rich.but you can make a living at it.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Petercoates87 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:54 am

It's funny that ya say dairy doesn't make lots of money. On the rock there is very few beef farms with only 20 or so head. But many dairy farms. I'm just outside of St. Johns and within 30 min drive there's at least 6 dairies with 80 -200+ head. Why do ya say there's no money in it?
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby suzorse » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:47 pm

I breed mine every year , dry off 2 months before they calve again , some people will do an extended lactation ( wait to rebreed ) as most Dairy cows will not dry them selves up with you milking like a beef cow will ,
I need that calf to eat or sell every year myself
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby dun » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:27 pm

Petercoates87 wrote:It's funny that ya say dairy doesn't make lots of money. On the rock there is very few beef farms with only 20 or so head. But many dairy farms. I'm just outside of St. Johns and within 30 min drive there's at least 6 dairies with 80 -200+ head. Why do ya say there's no money in it?

As with so many things, it depends on where you are.
Around here, most of the dairys of 60-200 head go in debt for a cople of years then milk prices go up and they will almost get back to paying off all their debts then the price goes down again. They have a steady income, (a check every month) but most of the time it just barely covers the cost of living and production.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby regolith » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:07 pm

That's about right. Milk prices cycle up and down all the time - the low of that cycle can be below the cost of production for a lot of farms. The worst trap to get into is putting in new structures or changing feed systems/intensity when the milk price is high, milk price drops again and farmers are still paying off those costs and then maybe they try to increase cow numbers/increase efficiencies just to not go bust.
Regardless of income the work needs to be done. I for one prefer not to look at the price of milk in stores and calculate how much of that comes back to me so I can carry on managing the cows that produced it. You can't do that calculation and stay happy.

Depending on the milk price and changing farms, there's times young dairy farmers in NZ can go 3 - 4 months without milk income. You either need help through that (family, bank, employer), or you need the resources already there to get through.
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Re: How often do Dairy Cows need to be bred?

Postby Supa Dexta » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:59 pm

Petercoates87 wrote:It's funny that ya say dairy doesn't make lots of money. On the rock there is very few beef farms with only 20 or so head. But many dairy farms. I'm just outside of St. Johns and within 30 min drive there's at least 6 dairies with 80 -200+ head. Why do ya say there's no money in it?


The Canadian dairy quota system makes it a much different ball game up here. Those guys definitely ARE making money up here.
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