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Great calving weather

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Silver

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The weather has warmed up to -10C today. Sure makes for easy calving, almost like a day off after calving at -30. 45 cows calved and 47 calves, includes 3 sets of twins (bad thing) and 1 death due to an apparent bad circulatory system. All in all it's been good though, and the forcast is for more good weather. Sure makes it easier to get up at night when its only -15 or better.
 

George

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I have been in a rut to long - - - I have always bred for April calves but in reading this and seeing the success most of you have when it is much warmer here I think I will move it up a month next year.
 

Faster horses

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George, by your statement of moving them 'up a month' does that mean you will go to May calving? That would be easy to do, whereas switching to March would take more than one year. I was confused at your meaning, but March would be 'backing them up' I guess.
 

Jason

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You can gain a month quite easily, especially the way George is feeding :wink: Turn the bulls in at 60 days post calving and voila you will calve a month earlier.

Well fed cows will start cycling at 21 days post calving and by 45 days they should be healed up enough (provided no dystocia), to rebreed.

I backed up my herd a few years back into the fall from January calving 1 month a year for 4 years. I did that to get away from scours in the calves, and it helped, but getting them onto a high selenium trace mineralize salt was the key to healthy calves. I dropped the fall calving cows 2 years ago.
 

George

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I intend to work to March calving - - - the mud is starting to lay by and grass is showing signs of life.

I have been the April habit due to years past of deep snow, but we have not had ant snow to speak of in over 10 years - - - now I just jinxed it and we will strat having blizzards in March :) :eek:
 

Jason

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Just remember if you can have bad weather during calving have a place to calve, good sheds with bedding or a barn. We calved the January cows out in the field, since mid February we have had to put the stragglers in at night.
 
A

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George- unless you have a reason to have to calve early (farming, job, mud situation, whatever) I'd think one more time before I moved up too far.....

For 50 years we turned bulls out on the 4th of July and calved in April- May...Few years ago when I had more time on the place and felt spry ( and we had had several beautiful Febs and Marchs)- I start moving it up thinking I could get bigger calves in the fall- until I was calving first of March...Then we got a couple winters of 2 weeks straight of 20 below weather and blizzards the beginning of March- checking cows every hour, calves froze to the ground even tho you checked them an hour ago, frozen ears- sick calves- dummy calves-dead calves---2-3 weeks of no sleep- grumpy wife- grumpy kids- even grumpier Oldtimer...Told myself I don't need to do this... :wink:

I compromised with myself- moved bull turnout to June 10-calving to March 20th- mainly to get them mostly calved out before the hayfields start growing....Still can get some cold, storms, and problems- but the likelihood is less....

All depends on your weather, climate and set up with buildings and stuff- but remember this year even those little calves were worth $700- if they lived til fall...
 

Silver

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Yes, it totally depends on your situation. I like to calve as many as I can on hard ground, and in my case that means frozen ground. Seems like less scours, less calves laying in cold puddles, etc. We are also well set up for winter calving, although I am even considering not turning the bulls out until may 20 or so. Mind you, we have had some pretty ugly april storms that are harder on calves than cold feb. days, so it all comes down to what works for you in your situation.
 

Andy

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The past five years the worst time to calve in this area has been from march15th to april 15th. Most of the calves are born in that time frame around here.
 

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