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Evening feeding of heifers

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mtrancher

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I know this subject was discussed a couple of weeks ago on the board but I had a couple of questions I'm not sure were addressed. Would appreciate some input from those of you that have experience with this idea.
Was considering starting to feed heifers in the evening, (we are about a month from starting to calve) but wouldn't be able to feed in the evening every day. Does it mess up the night calving idea if for example you only feed in the evening 5 days a week and the other 2 days you feed them at noon?
Does supplement feeding (couple #s of grain and canola meal and a few #s of silage) in the evening to mature cows that are out grazing have any affect on when they might calve?
Also there still seems to be some disagreement on exactly when they should be fed in the evening. 5pm? 9pm?
Hope all you guys that are calving are able to stay warm and save most of them. I calved in late January years ago in -40 weather and decided that was waaayyy to much work. I calve one bunch in late march april and then the other half in late June July. Works good for me as I can get by with less labor in the spring.
 

Jason

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You have to figure out the value of the heat generated from feeding as well as the calving benefits. 9PM is far too late as the heat will be generated about 8 -12 hrs later. Noon is almost too early, but not bad.

I think if you can feed at 5pm 5 days and noon 2 days you will still see a fair benefit.

I have been feeding around noon, depends on if I need to go somewhere or not, I am getting most of the calves around 6am or middle of the afternoon to early evening.
 

mtrancher

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Thanks for your input, I'll try feeding the heifers as late as I can and see how calving turns out. Sounds like its going to warm up quick, at least back above 0 so that will be nice.
 

Rowdy Ranch

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About 75percent of the 1st calf heifers calved between 4a.m. and 10p.m.by feeding betweeen 5 and 6p.m. Started this about 3 wks. before calving. The few we did assist luckily came during the daylite hrs. Maybe they would have calved this way anyhow. We just got done with them calving started 1st wk in Jan. It went pretty well and the calves are doing good. Hope the weather works for you and you get along good!
 

Bar NF

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We have been "nite" feeding for over 15 years and still do it religously!
As for cows grazing we will even cake in the evening, what we found is to time the feeding as close to dusk as possible. It really has as much to do with repatition as with anything else, some experts want to provide a very complex explanation to why this practice works but you can just mark most of it up to being consistent. We try to limit the changes in schedual to not more than 1-2 hours from day to day! We can document less than 3% of our calves are born sooner that 10-12 hours after we "feed" we even bed at the same times, I would not expect these great results the first time because you said your 30 days from calving, we try to start with caking and that begins very late fall for us, but keep it up it will pay off BIG TIME in time. In short get those cows and heifers used to doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again until nothing else matters to them.
 

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