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It was a good day

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LCP
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It was a good day

Postby LCP » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:15 pm

We weaned the calves off our mature cows (4-10 yr olds) today. These were mid-April through late May calves, Angus cows bred to maternal-type Angus bulls (Emulation, Shoshone, Wye breeding mostly). We had a dry start to the summer, had real good rain from late July through Labor Day. Moved the pairs to cover crops (oats, radishes, turnips) from October 11 - Dec 15. I thought the calves looked good - actually a little too fleshy really. Cows are in BCS 6 average. I didn't pour or deworm anything, no implants, no creep feed. I was hoping the calves would average 600-625 lb. I was shocked when the scale said 700 lb average! 675 on heifers 725 on steers. That's well over 100 lbs heavier than I've ever weaned calves. It really showed me the power of late summer & fall nutrition. Needless to say, I'm going to be looking really hard at putting in long-season cover crops to graze in the fall with pairs.

Plus it was 48 degrees, sunny, and no wind on Dec 18. Had a good crew to work with giving shots. And the cattle are in dad's yard so I don't have to listen to the bellaring all night! It was a good day! Tomorrow is preg check, hope it goes as well.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby Big Muddy rancher » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:29 pm

Got to luv it when a plan comes together!
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Re: It was a good day

Postby Faster horses » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:57 pm

Congratulations! I figured on a May 1 average calving date to Dec. 18th on your steers, say they weighed 85# at birth, they averaged
2.8# a day (without figuring any shrink on the 725#. Pretty darn nice!! In SE Montana when we get enough rain that the crested wheat grass greens up, it's like feeding grain. Man, they do good! Long-season cover crops have become increasingly popular too.

I certainly respect your breeding program. We used some of the same genetics. We figured if we took care of the female side of things the steer side would work well too. It would be great to see pictures of your set of calves.

Good luck pregnancy checking!
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Re: It was a good day

Postby LCP » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:25 pm

Faster horses wrote:Congratulations! I figured on a May 1 average calving date to Dec. 18th on your steers, say they weighed 85# at birth, they averaged
2.8# a day (without figuring any shrink on the 725#. Pretty darn nice!! In SE Montana when we get enough rain that the crested wheat grass greens up, it's like feeding grain. Man, they do good! Long-season cover crops have become increasingly popular too.

I certainly respect your breeding program. We used some of the same genetics. We figured if we took care of the female side of things the steer side would work well too. It would be great to see pictures of your set of calves.

Good luck pregnancy checking!


I didn't figure in any shrink. We gathered at 10:30 am, sorted cows from calves, and gave shots before weighing around 4:30pm. Probably could have taken a couple percent off?

I'll see if I can get a picture tomorrow.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby Faster horses » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Great!
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Re: It was a good day

Postby Soapweed » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:11 pm

Sounds like everything is working out well. Nice job.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby LCP » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:29 am

A short video of the steers:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rbTwYMk308Bb7wvx2



They are on the fleshy side I think, nice to look at from the rancher's perspective but maybe too much for a buyer? The heifers need to gain 0.5 lb a day until breeding to meet their minimum breeding weight. We put them back with the cows after preg check and they will go to corn stalks for a month. Then we'll wean them. First time doing it, we'll see how it goes.

Preg check didn't go great, 11% open. Could (should) have been better. We've been within 1-2 percent of that the last 4 years, can't figure out what's going on. These cows all calved by the end of May, bulls went in July 15 for 60 days. They had plenty of time to get cycling again, and it was the best August forage in recent memory. Vet thinks maybe a mineral imbalance. We are going to do some liver biopsies next summer to see if we can find anything.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby Faster horses » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:54 am

That is a dandy set of steers! Big and stout. Sorry about your preg test. You are right, it coulda been better. My only comment would be that we couldn't leave the calves on the cows as long as you plan to, but that is in our country. The cow is the factory, after all and in winter it takes a lot out of the cow to have a calf sucking her. We calve late March and get the calves off the cow by Mid Oct.
You have a really stout set of cows to raise calves that weigh like yours do. Sad to lose any of them. An old cowboy told us once that the first thing a cow has to do is have a live calf, second thing is to breed back, then last thing is to raise it.

Thanks for the photo. They were WOW calves.
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Re: It was a good day

Postby WB » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:41 am

Are you feeding any chelated copper or zinc? Our area is terribly short on copper. Bull nutrition is important also. Many forget that when bulls aren’t working they still need mineral. Keep us updated on what your tests reveal.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby LCP » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Faster horses wrote:That is a dandy set of steers! Big and stout. Sorry about your preg test. You are right, it coulda been better. My only comment would be that we couldn't leave the calves on the cows as long as you plan to, but that is in our country. The cow is the factory, after all and in winter it takes a lot out of the cow to have a calf sucking her. We calve late March and get the calves off the cow by Mid Oct.
You have a really stout set of cows to raise calves that weigh like yours do. Sad to lose any of them. An old cowboy told us once that the first thing a cow has to do is have a live calf, second thing is to breed back, then last thing is to raise it.

Thanks for the photo. They were WOW calves.


Thanks for the kind words. I should have posted a few pics of the cows. They averaged BCS 6 when we weaned on Monday. Had we taken the calves off earlier, I think we might have struggled getting them down the alley for preg checking! The cover crop they have been grazing for the last two months put on condition like nothing I've experienced before. Our cows tend to be pretty easy fleshing anyway.

We've been working with a nutritionist on a custom mineral program for a few years. I know we're adding quite a little copper, as we are always on the low side of things there. Maybe selenium is tying up some of it, we tend to be high in that. I see very little to no rust-colored hair on our black cows so a severe copper deficiency I would be surprised by.

Bulls are on mineral year around also. I've spent hours talking to everyone I thought could help solve this and some persistent health issues with our calves (this year was just ok, not great, but better than the past 3 yrs). Whatever is going on, it isn't anything common or obvious it seems.

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Re: It was a good day

Postby Faster horses » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:44 pm

Lets look at some simple things that could have caused it. Calving in mid April has you putting your bulls in about July 4, right?
It had been droughty up to then and past that time, right? Was it excessively hot then as it seemed to be just about every where in the West?
If so, maybe excessive heat had a bearing on breed back. I assume you would have tested your bulls before you turned them out. Maybe for peace of mind you could test them again now. What I am saying is "maybe it could be a bull problem." Were the opens more in one set of cows than another? Was it more in 2's coming 3's or 3's coming 4's? That is a hard age for sure, as far as conception.

Do you have a Vigortone mineral dealer near you? If so, I would give him/her a call. Many have seen more incidences than a veterinarian has and I know they would help you. They run all kinds of tests for customers at no charge. If you aren't seeing any red on the haircoat, especially up by the withers, my limited knowledge would say it isn't a mineral deficiency; or not a copper deficiency anyway. What is the cal to phos ratio in your mineral? I would like to know that, just for curiosity sake. Vigortone makes all kinds of custom mix minerals if you should need one.

I'll throw this in while I am posting....remember we are 90 to 120 days behind on body condition score. What they eat now will
be reflected 90-120 days from now. 80# is a body condition score change. Add 80# they go up a score, lose 80# and they go down a score. FWIW.

Hope this helps. Hope you get some answers.
Last edited by Faster horses on Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: It was a good day

Postby WB » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:29 pm

The copper needs to be chelated. The oxide and sulfur forms are just not absorbable enough. What is the water source?Our breedup is always less for the cows on artesian water.


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