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Heifer development

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Silver

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We feed them hay over the winter and let them eat grass during the summer :D
 

Haytrucker

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Kinda what Silver said. It's been a few years, but after I figured they were weaned the replacements went on stalks with the cows. Fed alfalfa for protein and scrounge. Come calving, they got their own patch and a little extra.
 

rancherfred

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We put them on the same backgrounding ration that we have the steers on after they are weaned. Once there is enough grass in the spring they are turned out. They graze that until the winter grazing is ready. The last couple of years our winter graze has been frost killed sudan grass and spring planted winter triticale. They are on that until spring when we sort them away from the rest of the cows and calve them.
 

Silver

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Oh yes, we provide them TM salt. :wink:

We also separate first and second calvers from the cows for the winter so they do not have to compete with the old girls, and we can also make sure the feed they get is always of the best variety.
 

scout

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Historically I have wintered them with the cows on a silage ground hay ration with lots of bunk space then turned on grass first of may with the bull.i felt they were lagging behind so this year I fed them 10 pounds a day grain concentrate and okay hay .then we had a pile of silage left so put are old pairs we are culling with the hfrs and fed silage and alfalfa hay and impressed with results








 

LCP

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Haytrucker said:
Kinda what Silver said. It's been a few years, but after I figured they were weaned the replacements went on stalks with the cows. Fed alfalfa for protein and scrounge. Come calving, they got their own patch and a little extra.

What do you guys figure the heifers gain in those scenarios? Just curious. I know there are genetic, climate, and geographical differences that make some things work better than others for different outfits.
 

Silver

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I figure if a heifer gains a 1.5 lbs a day over the winter they go out on grass with good frame and in good flesh and breed up nicely. That puts them at around 900 lbs when they hit grass.
 

Faster horses

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Ours straightbed Angus heifers,born late March and early April, weighed 780# when they went to grass. We know because we weighed them. Wintered on grass hay and mineral. Sometimes we added a little soybean supplement called Forage Pro. They bred up well and stayed in the herd a long time. We didn't want big cattle--1200#-1300 at the outside when mature. There is a lot of variables with heifers. Breed, age, etc.
 

Faster horses

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Ours straightbed Angus heifers,born late March and early April, weighed 780# when they went to grass. We know because we weighed them. Wintered on grass hay and mineral. Sometimes we added a little soybean supplement called Forage Pro. They bred up well and stayed in the herd a long time. We didn't want big cattle--1200#-1300 at the outside when mature. There is a lot of variables talking developing replacement heifers. Breed, age, mature size, etc.
 

Denny

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ours had free choice alfalfa, free choice grass hay and free choice silage and salt no mineral we had about 40 bred ewes with them all winter everyone looks fine and healthy.
 

Brad S

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Like to see a mineral study for heifers - I think cow longevity and production is enhanced significantly.

I think the silver ration is optimal - when you push with concentrates you get nasty side effects like kph fat & fat in the milk system. Universities all say push heifers with concentrates, but I've never seen a study looking at disads.

I've heard wheat pasture has a negative impact on reproductive tract ph.
 

Silver

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Brad S said:
Like to see a mineral study for heifers - I think cow longevity and production is enhanced significantly.

Against what baseline would your mineral study be measured? It appears from my time on this site that many places seem to be mineral deficient, but we know they are not all deficient in the way. In fact, there may even be places where a mineral program will not pay for itself.
 

Faster horses

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Silver said:
Brad S said:
Like to see a mineral study for heifers - I think cow longevity and production is enhanced significantly.

Against what baseline would your mineral study be measured? It appears from my time on this site that many places seem to be mineral deficient, but we know they are not all deficient in the way. In fact, there may even be places where a mineral program will not pay for itself.

Ok, I'll bite. Where would that be that a mineral program will not pay for itself?
It not only will pay for itself, it will make the producer money.
Ranch trials show that mineral supplementation helps with herd health all across the board and breed back; plus adds weight to
calves as it stimulates their rumen making it so they can consume more forage. Calves that eat more, weigh more. Another thing of notice is heifers that were on mineral since conception breed up sooner, have better body condition, just to name a couple of things. We have customers who get 85-90% breed back in 30 days. As did we. On straightbred Angus.

Another point, Texas A&M did a study and the results showed that calves that were fed mineral while on their mothers, had
less pulls and made more money in the feedlot.

But I think we have had this discussion before.

Brad S, we have friends/customers who would agree with you on your longevity observation. The longer a cow stays in the herd,
the more money she makes her owner. (Of course I know you already know this). Longevity is so important and often overlooked. We just can't keep taking from a cow without giving back what she needs. Lots of feed stuffs will make a huge difference, but mineral fills in what is lacking in their diet. Nutrition and genetics....what it's all about. :D
 

Silver

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FH, we have had this discussion before, and I would suggest that unless you ranch my place you would not be able to make an informed opinion on whether or not cattle raised on this place would benefit from a mineral program.
I have not seen a herd on any mineral program in this area outperform those well managed outfits that choose not to feed mineral. That tells me that herd nutrition is being met, and therefore a mineral program in this instance is simply gilding the lily. You are welcome to make a case for mineral in areas that you are familiar with, but please do not assume to tell me what we need in a place you have no working knowledge of.
 

Faster horses

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What I am pleased to say is that we have helped bona fide producers over a huge area, including Canada, learn about the benefits of feeding mineral. And it wasn't to profit off them, but rather to inform, educate and help them. Some people are just open-minded and want to know more, some people don't.

Most producers that don't feed mineral are leaving money on the table.
 

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