How do you do it?

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Vetrock
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How do you do it?

Postby Vetrock » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:04 am

How do you do it? I’ve taken over my dad’s cow/calf herd after his passing this summer. There are calves of varying ages out there. Most are a shade of white because of the Charolais bull. I need to do some serious culling of the cows. My question is how do you determine which calf (none have ear tags) goes with which cow (most do)?

I’ve thought of taking a picture of each calf as they nurse, but once we get them in the catch pen, they all kind of blend together.

What are your best tricks?
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby M-5 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:46 pm

Tag the calves with generic numbers . sit and watch which cow they nurse .
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby JMJ Farms » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:57 pm

M-5 wrote:Tag the calves with generic numbers . sit and watch which cow they nurse .


:nod:
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby Nesikep » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:25 pm

If you want to speed up the process a bit, separate them so the calves are thirsty and nurse when you put them back together.

More important to know the cows.. watch the calves nurse, evaluate if the calf is any good, keep/cull the cow.. need her to be identifiable.
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JW IN VA
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby JW IN VA » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:15 pm

This method works for me when I can't get them identified individually. I will suggest you use a white or yellow tag and mark numbers on both sides so they will be easier to see when you are matching cows with calves.The ones you keep can be retagged to your personal color later on.
Even though my tags are orange,I use white tags in the calves most years if the tags are small.

Sorry for your loss.Glad you are keeping things going.Went through that almost twenty years ago.Don't hesitate to ask on this forum.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby snoopdog » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Also tag with different colors for males /females, makes your recordkeeping a bit easier from scratch , or right ear/left ear.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby Workinonit Farm » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:10 pm

M-5 wrote:Tag the calves with generic numbers . sit and watch which cow they nurse .


:nod: To this, I would add Snoopdog's suggestion of different ears for different sexes.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby JW IN VA » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:47 pm

Been doing that for years.When we sold in feeder calf association sales,they started taking steers on one week and heifers the next.Made sorting in large groups much faster.Provided the tagging guy paid attention when he was doing it.
Steers in left.Heifers in right.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby snoopdog » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:57 pm

Workinonit Farm wrote:
M-5 wrote:Tag the calves with generic numbers . sit and watch which cow they nurse .


:nod: To this, I would add Snoopdog's suggestion of different ears for different sexes.
Makes it easier to remember if you tag the girls in the right ear, "the female is always right ", no confusion with hired hands ,or anyone else , on this we ALL agree . And if not ,may god have mercy on your soul.
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Vetrock
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby Vetrock » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:46 pm

Very helpful. Thanks!
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby Brute 23 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:03 pm

Consider that you may not need to match them all right now. Sell this group now and start writing any thing born from here on out.

I would start by cubing them or what ever in the working pens to make sure they know you. Get tags in all the momma cows as soon as you can.

I always keep my phone handy in the pasture. When a calf is sucking I take a pic. That automatically gives me a date and a pic of the pair. I group them in albums by year and property in my phone. A lot of phones will even let you write on the pic.

As others have suggested if you pen all the cows. Separate the cows from the calves. Tag the cows and the calves. If you can keep the cows in a trap near by leave them separated. Don't be afraid to leave them over night. Turn the calves out one by one to the cows and they should go straight to sucking.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby Allenw » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:00 am

For culling cows I would simply shut the cows I wanted to sell up and see if they had any nursing calves show up. You can make final decisions about culling now or later depending on cow and calf conditions and what ever other factors are involved. If I was culling I would just take them all at once when I had them caught.

We've done the shut the calves up and let them out pairing method it's not 100% accurate, you will be wrong on at least a couple pairs.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby callmefence » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:37 am

Once you get the calves tagged with generic numbers. Cube them at sunset to get them all together. The cows will eat the cake then mother up with the calves. Write down who goes with who on a piece of paper. Take a picture of it and text it to your wife so it doesn't get lost.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby 76 Bar » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:39 am

Have nothing to add except to say you've gotten some great advice Vetrock. Sorry for the loss of your dad and always remember the old adage, Rome wasn't built in a day. Herd improvement will be much easier after you get the cows and calves tagged and paired up.
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Re: How do you do it?

Postby TCRanch » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:56 pm

snoopdog wrote:
Workinonit Farm wrote:
M-5 wrote:Tag the calves with generic numbers . sit and watch which cow they nurse .


:nod: To this, I would add Snoopdog's suggestion of different ears for different sexes.
Makes it easier to remember if you tag the girls in the right ear, "the female is always right ", no confusion with hired hands ,or anyone else , on this we ALL agree . And if not ,may god have mercy on your soul.

Well now it all makes sense! When we first started a cow/calf operation my husband said to tag the steers on the right, heifers on the left. Guess who's running the ranch now? But no way am I switching all the ear tags!
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