Calving

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Re: Calving

Postby City Guy » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:00 pm

I know that, but when someone says that, I want to know exactly why. Otherwise it sounds like a cop out. Might as well answer with "cuz"! I'd rather you said "I'm not willing to discuss it" or I'm not going to share that information with you."
I don't mean to offend, I really don't, but cliches like "there is no silver bullet" and "no two situations are the same" are replies of the weak and unprepared. If you don't know the answer please just say so!! If you don't want to answer then don't post a reply!! I did not join this group just to be told again what every adult on the planet has known for thousands of years.

BTW I have read success stories of both mob grazing and stockpiling in every region of USA, some in Canada, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They are becoming all the rage!
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Re: Calving

Postby M-5 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:44 pm

Ideal for me is April to June. I just finished summer calves had 6 born last 2 weeks. These cows calved early fall last yr. They all moved up 2 months this yr and if all goes smooth they will calve in June next yr. I don't mind summer calves they typically do fine. I had a heifer that left her newborn in the sun all day last week, she was lethargic and overheated when I found it. I tubed some electrolytes and next day put calf back with mom and she is fine. I actually have less problems in summer compared to winter or early spring . wild temp swings makes them snotty and breathe hard.
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Re: Calving

Postby inyati13 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:01 pm

This fall I will calve beginning September 15, and End October 31. I am moving my current group of spring calving cows to fall. I will breed all my cows beginning Thanksgiving and ending January 31, 2017.

I don't have a bull. I breed on natural heats with on the farm Artifical Insemination.

I decided this year to go to the one Sept/Oct calving season. That allows breeding at a time of year when the estrus cycle is more pronounced. It also gives the calves a couple months of nice fall weather before winter. I have excellent pasture so my cows go into winter well conditioned even over-conditioned. I have medium quality hay and my cows do well raising big calves during the months of January, February and March when I feed hay. I use high quality mineral and will put out protein tubs if necessary.

We usually start getting grass by mid March. That allows the calves a good start on grass before and during weaning.
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Re: Calving

Postby Backbone Ranch » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:38 pm

We typically start calving at the very end of February through March. It didn't happen this year, but in years previous, we have gotten a few inches of sleet at the very beginning of March. It is not fun calving in that weather! Soaking wet newborn calves, strong winds, and sleet can be stressful on newborns. We had one heifer calf get very minor frostbite on her ears; you have to really look at her closely to see it. When we AI, we aim for March 10th. There typically aren't sleet storms after the first week of March around here.
Determining when you want to calve depends on your location and ultimately, how you want to manage them. By calving in the fall, your calves will be able to better utilize the rush of spring growth. The drawback (which may be minimal, depending on where you are) is that you may have to feed lactating cows through the winter. By calving in the spring, you avoid the inclement weather and the cold and your cows and calves will benefit from the quality spring and summer forages. The drawback to calving in the spring is that your bulls will be breeding your cows during the heat of the summer. The heat can reduce the fertility of the bulls. There are pros and cons to calving at both times of year. You just have to determine which is best for your environment and management system.
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Re: Calving

Postby dun » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:07 pm

City Guy wrote:I know that, but when someone says that, I want to know exactly why. Otherwise it sounds like a cop out. Might as well answer with "cuz"! I'd rather you said "I'm not willing to discuss it" or I'm not going to share that information with you."
I don't mean to offend, I really don't, but cliches like "there is no silver bullet" and "no two situations are the same" are replies of the weak and unprepared. If you don't know the answer please just say so!! If you don't want to answer then don't post a reply!! I did not join this group just to be told again what every adult on the planet has known for thousands of years.

BTW I have read success stories of both mob grazing and stockpiling in every region of USA, some in Canada, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They are becoming all the rage!

I would suggest you get out and actually do instead of talk. What worked in the desert of california where it takes 300 acres a pair on range won;t work in tennesee or florida. What works there won;t work in the desert. Pasture is different than range, grazing fescue is different than grazing other grasses. A number of dairyman came to missouri from wisconsin and were going to teach these hillbillys how to dairy. The ones that moved to this county have all left except one. He's raising horses and mules now.
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Re: Calving

Postby City Guy » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:24 am

Dun; Now we're getting somewhere--"grazing fescue is different than grazing other grasses" Do tell please. Start from the beginning and leave nothing out if you would, please. I know the endophytes are concentrated in the stems and seed heads and it is worst in summer, but manifests in winter. Would it be wise (even possible) to cut the seed heads off (say about the top 5-6 inches) or maybe cut the stuff in June as hay and maybe again in Aug? Sept? before seed heads form again. Would that leave time to stockpile for winter?
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Re: Calving

Postby talltimber » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:18 am

"I was told", "I heard", "I read somewhere" or something similar is usually how I start to tell or convey something I don't know as the absolute truth. And unless you were told by someone that doesn't stretch the truth, ever, unless you saw it yourself, you don't REALLY know if it is or not.

With that said, I believe dun has mentioned this before, and it was relayed from a first hand experience by my Dad years ago, "and don't think that you can clip it high and save all the leaf. You'll never keep up with all the pinkeye you get with them sticking their heads down through those stems". So, I either cut it to six in or so, or i don't cut it.

With trying rotational grazing the first time this year, my usual bush hogging schedule is not correct, but I am keeping a vegetative state going in a few patches for grazing later. Right now the weeds are really beginning to grow well, so I may have to clip again. Mid Aug clip seems to do good for stockpiling here.
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Re: Calving

Postby dun » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:39 am

You won;t want to hear this either, but not all grasses stockpile.
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Re: Calving

Postby M-5 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:05 am

dun wrote:You won;t want to hear this either, but not all grasses stockpile.


Down here if you stock pile you stockpile dead grass, they will eat some of it but you lose a lot and you better off cutting it and baling it when in its prime.
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Re: Calving

Postby dun » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:36 am

M-5 wrote:
dun wrote:You won;t want to hear this either, but not all grasses stockpile.


Down here if you stock pile you stockpile dead grass, they will eat some of it but you lose a lot and you better off cutting it and baling it when in its prime.

But gee, what one person claims is that what works in one place will work everywhere, i.e. the "silver bullet" theory
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Re: Calving

Postby M-5 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:56 am

dun wrote:
M-5 wrote:
dun wrote:You won;t want to hear this either, but not all grasses stockpile.


Down here if you stock pile you stockpile dead grass, they will eat some of it but you lose a lot and you better off cutting it and baling it when in its prime.

But gee, what one person claims is that what works in one place will work everywhere, i.e. the "silver bullet" theory


but the BOOKS told him it would work so it must be true. No real world experience , No money lost, Nothing Invested.
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Re: Calving

Postby angus9259 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:19 am

After getting my batchelor's in engineering I got a masters and doctorate in ministry. After all that study and book reading I knew I could finally get out there and start doing church "the right way" - the way it was described by the professors and in the books. It wasn't till I started doing it - being a pastor - that I realized that my "education" was just about to begin.... Both the books and practice have been helpful, but discarding one in favor of the other leads to problems.

City Guy - no one is slamming your book knowledge. What I am challenging is your "prescriptions" only using information from that one lens.
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Re: Calving

Postby TCRanch » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:12 pm

City Guy wrote:The cow will consume about 50% more feed in her last month of gestation than her calf will in it's first 4 months of life (grass, I'm talking about) so cow's needs are paramount. Around here (Central IL) that means letting her graze new grass from mid-March till late April and calving late April thru end of May.
Otherwise buy expensive hay and supplements and when the new grass comes along the calves will be standing in it while they nurse! When a May born calf is really beginning to graze, the cool season grasses are making a comeback (September). This is ranching in sync with nature!
Unless you have excellent quality stockpiled grass there is no good reason to calve any other seasons but spring and fall.


And yet Mother Nature has her own agenda. Extreme drought for consecutive years, extreme winter conditions, flooding, etc - all potential game changers. I'm just suggesting that when you do purchase your first cattle/implement your well thought out strategy, you should also be prepared for Plan B. And Plan C. There is no right or wrong if the end result is healthy animals, preferably at a profit but realizing there is no guarantee.
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Re: Calving

Postby City Guy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:32 am

Point taken. I just assume that everyone has a drought plan and inclement weather plan already in place.
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Re: Calving

Postby City Guy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:50 am

GOOD GRIEF, DON'T YOU GUYS LISTEN? I have said that what I know about this business I learned from cattle producers--from all over the world. People like you. I am looking at the book shelves to my left and count 10 large notebooks filled with printed info (and my own handwritten notes). And the filing cabinet behind me contains at least two drawers of material yet to be sorted and filed. To my left is a fat folder with info I have gleaned from you all just since I started on this forum. I am at the point in my studies where I no longer look for info that supports my preconceived ideas, but rather I seek ideas to the contrary! Remember, in my initial introduction I asked you all to change my mind if you could. And you have. I now realize that it is an economic necessity to breed heifers to calve at two years of age. And you have opened my eyes about the validity of BSEs. I learned these things because you were kind enough to WRITE THEM DOWN and I was smart enough TO READ THEM. Sounds like book learnin' to me. Or should I discount it because I read it and did not experience it?
Just as with all my other studies I don't believe all that I read on this site. Some of it makes no sense!! I have to read "between the lines" sometimes to learn anything. But I am learning. I've said before I can learn from your experience and you can learn from my ignorance.

And for heaven's sake, please stop with the "Every situation is different" mantra. I KNOW THAT!!! I'm going to start calling you all "Captain Obvious" or "Colonel Cliche".
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