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Calving 2016

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
DejaVu
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Calving 2016

Postby DejaVu » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:45 pm

How's it going for you? I'm finding, this year, that the calves birth weight is following the cow more than the bull. Meaning, if she has some size in her background, the calf tends to be bigger than what I expect from the bull. I am wondering if it's something anyone else is noticing. We didn't have any winter so the cows have had no stress in that regard. It has me just a teensy bit worried about the heifers left to calve :roll:

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leanin' H
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby leanin' H » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:31 pm

The outfits around me seem to have experienced a higher rate of malpresentations this year. A few C-sections and leg backs and a couple of just a tail coming. We had a heavy winter with snow and I kinda wonder if the lack of exercise has anything to do with it.

Our place has had 3 cows calve and we have had 4 bull calves. Sold one twin to a neighbor to graft. So far, they have come easy and are vigorous little buggers when they hit the ground, knock on wood!
A poor ride beats a great walk any day!
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DejaVu
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby DejaVu » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:22 pm

A high percentage of heifers born this year from the guys I've talked to. Sure been that way for me-so far. Usually the percentages even out when it's all over. It just seems like there's some real inconsistency in birth weights from single sires groups. That would have to be attributed to the cow. or maybe not. I don't have a clue anymore. :-)

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Re: Calving 2016

Postby mrj » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:34 am

We got a very big, but live, calf after the vet did a middle-of-the-night C-section. AND, it's a true blessing to live only thirty miles from such excellent and accommodating Veterinarians!

Other calves from same bull have been small. That heifer is bigger than average, though. Grandson said those were the biggest feet he's ever found when he was searching for reasons it wasn't being born yet!

Thankfully, most have calved easy, and getting to the end of them by the time they were scheduled to start. Couldn't have had better weather for calving, either. Pretty days, and not so cold nights, either.

They are learning bad habits being in our horse pasture, though. They challenge my car as I'm driving by, and are learning they always win when 'racing' with me! Even the heifers are assuming I will drive out around them so they can remain standing in the road. They will move when I honk the horn, tho.

We did lose one in the corral last night that we shouldn't have. Probably had the membrane over the nose, and we didn't get out there quickly enough this morning, waiting for a bit of day-light before going out. That has happened with a few other births this spring, but someone got there soon enough.

That makes me wonder if some of the calves people think were killed by coyotes might have been already dead, then eaten by the coyotes??? We calve the cows in pretty 'wide open' situation, with big pastures, some more than a half section, and try to ride through them twice a day. And losing one is pretty rare. None that we can truly blame on coyotes in many years.....and we have LOTS of coyotes, tho fewer than a few months ago after a contest in the area. To listen to them some nights, one would believe our house was surrounded by them all howling at one another!

mrj

DejaVu
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby DejaVu » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:01 pm

Had a heifer calving Saturday morning. She stood up, the calf dropped to the ground with it's head doubled back under it. I came up behind her and re-positioned the calf' so it wouldn't smother. I was in the right place at the wrong time. She looked at the calf and walked away. Didn't want one thing to do with that baby. We brought both in and penned them together. 24 hours later-she loved her calf. and I was very thankful.

I don't give coyotes much credit. I've seen them work to overwhelm the cow while others came in for the calf. A mammoth donkey has helped tremendously. I do :heart: my donkey.

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Re: Calving 2016

Postby Nesikep » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:04 pm

I'm finding moderate birthweights this year.. though they're still higher than what most people think is normal. Heifers have all been 80ish lbs except for one at about 100-110 (SUPER strong and vigorous that one was).. Bull calves have been around 90-110. Haven't had any problems so far.. hope it keeps up for the other 2/3rds of them
Small timer with a bunch of cows

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Re: Calving 2016

Postby Traveler » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:38 pm

Seems like a big variation in birth weights this year. Luckily, only one c-section out of a heifer ai'd to Bruiser. About 300 heifers ai'd to Excitement the last couple years with almost all calving unassisted. Heifers were mostly done before the cows ever started.

We've got 5 calving barns, and I tagged a lot of calves today, on hormonal black cows, with my wife handing me tags and the syringe from the safety of a cabbed Ranger. Got butted twice. Would much rather catch them out in the open then work them out of barns. Tired right now. Getting a little long in the tooth for some of this. God bless the night calvers. Time for an adult beverage and some rest.

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Faster horses
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby Faster horses » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:24 pm

BW is 70% heritable from the cow, 30% from the bull. So if you get heavy bw in your cows, chances are you are generally going to have heavier bw calves. Once you get heavier bw in your herd, it is hard to get it out.

Heifers calves are usually 10# lighter than calves out of cows when using the same bull. A real knowledgeable ABS man and Red Angus breeder taught me that.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby DejaVu » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:37 pm

Thanks FH. It'll help to be finished calving this group of heifers :wink:

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PPRM
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby PPRM » Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:29 pm

We have all heifers we are thinking of keeping palpated to make certain their reproductive tracts are in order. While doing that, we have the vet judge the pelvic opening. I think that has helped us with calving ease as much as anything
The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth

PPRM

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Re: Calving 2016

Postby Faster horses » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:16 pm

When do you have them palpated PPRM? We have a customer that is considering doing that and I know there is a better/best time for it. We used to pelvic measure but we never had any drop out because of too small pelvis so we quit. I thought running them through the chute and stressing them before breeding was not a good thing.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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PPRM
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Re: Calving 2016

Postby PPRM » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:45 pm

I basically do it as yearlings. So, quite a bit before breeding. That way if they drop out, I can feed them out.

LOL, I don't run them through a Chute. I get them to flow calmly. Well, most times ;-}

I will say the one year when we AI'd ten heifers we hit 100% conception.
The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth



PPRM


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