Calving Seasons?

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Lucky
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Calving Seasons?

Post by Lucky » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:36 pm

I'm sure this has been brought up but wondering what everyone is doing. Do you have a spring, fall, or year round calving season? Also wondering how long folks run the bulls and what ratio they run.

I have a 90 day spring calving season. Run bulls from April 15th till July 15th try not to leave bulls in past Aug 1st. I was turning them out May 1st but decidded to back them up last year. I run 1 bull to twenty cows and generally get 75% of the calves in first 45 days.



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pricefarm
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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by pricefarm » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:40 pm

I have all spring calving cows now. I did have a group of fall calving cows but didn't like having to take the calves through the winter but the calves sold good in the spring. I have a group of heifers I keep back that I may breed to calve in the fall. I turn my bull in on May 1 st till around August. Then I'll turn him back in with the cows around October until they start calving. Just makes it easier.

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by Silver » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:40 pm

Turn bulls out about May 22, leave them out until the cattle come off the forestry permit in the fall. At preg testing time I ask the vet for a last week of April cut off, so theoretically a 60 day season if the vet is on his game. Like to keep the bull ratio to less than 25:1
14 days in this year we are ever so close to half done, but here on day 15 they seem to be on strike. Must be the lack of mineral :idea:

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:17 pm

Silver -you needed a break - and the barn needed a rest!
I calve twice a year. Jan & Feb (spring calving) and Sept/Oct (fall calving). 100% AI We start breeding next week.
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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by TCRanch » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:50 pm

We started out with only spring calving but due to a number of unfortunate events segued into year 'round. No more. Sold all my late calvers last year, going back to spring only. Bulls are turned out appx May 20th but don't pull them until generally 4-6 weeks prior to weaning in Oct. Pushed back our "spring" calving a couple years ago to start at the end of Feb to avoid frostbitten ears/tails. That bit me in the azz this year!

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by littletom » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:26 pm

Have 3 groups of spring calving. Turn bulls out around may 20 had 32 so far this spring. Take bulls out around first of August. My dad has one small group of fall calving, I take care of. Everything for me has to work around Tobacco. In the fall I have no time for anything. We run bulls up to 30 head. One bull per group. All bulls are bse each year. All cows are checked at weaning, anything open goes. No second chances or moving to fall group. My wife is a vet so makes things much easier.

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by farmerjan » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:36 pm

We calve spring and fall. Spring is mid March this year, til about June1st so trying for 75 days. Bulls didn't go in until June this past year due to several reasons. Usually try for mid May for the bulls to go in. I am so glad that we didn't now, looking back at the weather we have had these past several weeks.
Fall is usually Oct to Dec 1st. . Try to get them on the ground before Thanksgiving. Since we buy some breds every year, often "one and done" older cows that we can find cheap. That skews the "calving seasons" some. But I hate calves in late Dec/Jan/Feb because we get so much cold wet rain and snow/sleet crap.

We are actually looking at moving the "spring calving" up a little more, to start in April, and not weaning until January, holding them 45-60 days and selling in March. So the calving seasons will be "closer together" but will give us more calves for the spring sales. Unfortunately, we had alot more than normal open cows this fall, so the spring calving numbers will be down, and many went back with the bulls this fall and we hope they will be Sept/Oct calvers. Since it was widespread over all the different pastures, and some cows did not gain like they should have, and most all are 3-4 the calf cows, and cull prices were in the tank, they are getting another chance. Pulled their calves, and then they have no reason not to gain and breed. We'll see. I will be totally intolerant of any that come up open again.

Also try to calve the heifers in the spring, as they just seem to do better with a calf in the nice weather. But we have 17 due this fall as we were trying to move some around, and it just wasn't convenient to breed any last summer to calve some out in the spring. We may be cutting our numbers some too, having lost a couple of rented places, and selling more sq bales of hay. We'll see how things go this year.

Another thing, the black buzzards are real bad in the spring compared to the fall, so it might be a better deal to calve these heifers in the fall this year.

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by farmerjan » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:40 pm

As for numbers, we run 1 bull at each rented pasture. There are anywhere from 15 to 40 at the different pastures. On normal years we usually have no more than 5 % open max; often it is 1 or 2 cows at any one place and more often than not they are old cows. Have only had 3 open heifers in the last 4 years, and 2 were not cycling and one he wondered if she was a free martin although she was not recorded as a twin....They all left. Usually have 10-15 heifers to breed a year.

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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:33 pm

Calve on grass in May and June. Bulls stay with cows till calving season. Occasionally have one who does not cycle, and usually a couple late ones. Don't believe in preg checks to find a couple percent, who are worth more if you hold them a few months.

Sell any remaining single females at the end of calving - - so we are "100% in season". ;-)
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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:15 am

Run spring and fall herds. My insurance policy against calf scour/disease/weather wrecks, bulls that bugger up and it spreads out labor for one man operation.

Bulls in July 25th, out Sept 5th (give or take a couple days +/-)
Cows calve May 5th to June 15th +/-

Bulls in Nov 1st, out Dec 20th +/-
Cows calve August 15th to October 1st (working to trim off the last couple weeks in September - working towards a 30 day season with the fall group.)

Usually in either season, about 60% calve in first 2 weeks, 80% in first cycle, 90-95% in first 4 weeks. The last 2 weeks of the 2nd cycle is an agonizing wait. Maybe 1-2 calves every couple of days. :bang:

Usually run 15-25 females per bull. 15 if heifers, 25 if cows. I can do 30 on the cows, but it can be a lot for one bull in 40 days in big bush pastures. 20 cows per bull is really good number. Bulls don't get run down and take it easy - less likely to get stupid and bugger up.
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Re: Calving Seasons?

Post by Bright Raven » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:25 am

Fall calving - September/October. 100 % AI. Start breeding on Thanksgiving. Most are bred by end of December. Always a couple stragglers that take a little longer to cycle due to the suppression of a nursing calf so I use the 7 day protocol to kick start them.

Weather is ideal USUALLY, in September/October. Have never lost a calf due to weather. By 6 weeks old, calves are eating creep feed. Ideal arrangement for me. By the time weather is a factor, calves are strong and healthy.

I would never go back to spring calving but it does eliminate my opportunity to sell show steers which I regret. In this region, folks want spring born steers to show in the fall.
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