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What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:12 pm
by NonTypicalCPA
I'm thinking about sharing my bull with a friend who is about 15 miles from me. However, he has a larger herd and will only consider the arrangement if he can breed for spring calves. We both have cow/calf registered herds and sell primarily as breeding stock. At first this sounded fine to me, but I've been thinking lately that having fall calves would probably lead to me having to hold them from the fall at age 12 months until the spring, which means more hay to feed. Normally I'd be looking to sell at 12 months of age. I'm guessing the market for breeding stock won't be as strong in the fall? I'm new to this so I'm looking for any feedback good or bad on fall calving.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:18 pm
by M-5
People do it both ways but I would be more concerned with a so called friend giving you terms on your bull. IMO your bull your call . or tell him to kiss your AZZ

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:22 pm
by NonTypicalCPA
He is a friend and it would be my call. He would be doing me a favor by freeing up a space for another heifer/cow on my small acreage, plus he would be feeding him 9 months out of the year. It's good for him as he has an aging bull and my bull has great genetics and looks as a 24 month old.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:45 pm
by Ol' 243
The calves aren't eating much except mama's milk for the first few months anyway, then when they do start your spring grass is in. I'm on a fall calving program, I put my bull in n Dec 15th.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:52 pm
by NonTypicalCPA
Its not the first few months I'm concerned with. Its the second winter at months 13-16 feeding hay when they would normally have been sold.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:54 pm
by Rafter S
Most of my cows start calving around November 1, which works well for me for a variety of reasons, but it may not work for you. What's your location? If you're up north it may be difficult to get your cows through the winter in good shape with calves nursing on them.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:56 pm
by NonTypicalCPA
Just updated my profile for location. Yes I'm in SW Michigan. Any northern fall calvers on here with advice to share?

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:21 pm
by TennesseeTuxedo
M-5 wrote:People do it both ways but I would be more concerned with a so called friend giving you terms on your bull. IMO your bull your call . or tell him to kiss your AZZ


I think I missed this chapter in Mr. Carnegie's book on How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:36 pm
by Brute 23
I'm slowly moving the cattle to calve March, April, May. Even as mild and short as our winters are I can not make it pencil out to keep calves thru the winter.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:49 pm
by M-5
TennesseeTuxedo wrote:
M-5 wrote:People do it both ways but I would be more concerned with a so called friend giving you terms on your bull. IMO your bull your call . or tell him to kiss your AZZ


I think I missed this chapter in Mr. Carnegie's book on How to Win Friends and Influence People.


It was in the forward

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:06 pm
by cowgirl8
You'll feed a wet cow all winter.
I feel for the fall calvers this year. They usually enjoy the higher prices at the sale barn this time of year. They need the extra money because they've spent it on feeding the cows. But, this year was a first, prices down. Lower than the fall sales. If I were a fall calver, I would reconsider this year....although its probably too late.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:21 pm
by True Grit Farms
cowgirl8 wrote:You'll feed a wet cow all winter.
I feel for the fall calvers this year. They usually enjoy the higher prices at the sale barn this time of year. They need the extra money because they've spent it on feeding the cows. But, this year was a first, prices down. Lower than the fall sales. If I were a fall calver, I would reconsider this year....although its probably too late.


The prices are higher now than last October by about $40.00 per 100. I'm not able to follow what your saying.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:25 pm
by Son of Butch
M-5 wrote:People do it both ways but I would be more concerned with a so called friend giving you terms on your bull.
IMO your bull your call . or tell him to kiss your AZZ

Seems you'd be a hellva friend jumping to conclusions and snap judgments M-5 and starting quarrels where none
previously existed.

OP only wanted to know downside to fall calving and appears they offered their bull to increase their income.
The friend appears to have honestly (and most likely politely) answered the only way it would work for him.
OP appears to be the pursuer of the agreement not the friend, no reason to rip on their friend.

To answer OP question, I think they pretty much summed up the downfall of fall calving for themselves.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:26 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
I do both. I live in upstate NY, so I also feed 6 months. You are going to have to feed the cows thru winter no matter what, but they will need a little extra. I don't grain them, but I keep them separate from the spring calving dry cows. They all get the same hay. You can wean in May and sell in spring/early summer. For me, it is a great market for show calves. Tougher to keep one a bull and market for me because I don't keep bulls around. They get sold prior to or shortly after weaning or get cut. You could breed for 30 days for spring calving, before your friend, then clean up the rest for fall.

Re: What are the downsides to fall calving?

Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:28 pm
by M-5
Son of Butch wrote:
M-5 wrote:People do it both ways but I would be more concerned with a so called friend giving you terms on your bull.
IMO your bull your call . or tell him to kiss your AZZ

Seems you'd be a hellva friend jumping to conclusions and snap judgments M-5 and starting quarrels where none
previously existed.

OP only wanted to know downside to fall calving and appears they offered their bull to increase their income.
The friend appears to have honestly (and most likely politely) answered the only way it would work for him.
OP appears to be the pursuer of the agreement not the friend, no reason to rip on their friend.

To answer OP question, I think they pretty much summed up the downfall of fall calving for themselves.


one of my best friends is True Grit and we get along great .