• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Weaned and worked the tailenders

Help Support Ranchers.net:

leanin' H

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
7,281
Reaction score
2,520
Location
Western Utah Desert
Weaned my calves later than normal. Just the way life worked out with timing. Little bunch of my steers averaged 685 and heifers went 760. Anomaly with birth dates as heifers were all born first. One steer weighed in at 820. No creep and just our range. Amazing what happens with a great snow year and above average moisture all year. Kept three replacements and let the kids each choose and keep a heifer. (Gotta pay em somehow for doing all the work)
IMG_3236.jpeg

Weaned calves on good oat hay. Have never bloated one ever like this. And they thrive.



IMG_3235.jpeg

Snowy Thanksgiving here on the desert. And cool. Hasn't been above 28F and lows around zero.



IMG_8423.jpeg

Dalton tagging his heifer.

IMG_8426.jpeg

Hailey's husband Hyrum tagging theirs. Gave nasal booster and vaccine at the same time.
 
Those are some nice big healthy looking calves! We gave precon shots and weighed all our calves last Saturday. I never thought to take pictures. We have to wait for some snow to drive the cows down from the high pastures or else we miss too many in the roundup. I haven't gotten around to breaking down the numbers yet. We plan to wean them later on and ship to town sometime in January. I hope that the market turns around some by then!
 
'H, what is really telling is to give your calves a birthweight (I always used 80# for our calves
because we don't weigh them). If you have their birthdate and you weigh them individually,
you know how many days of age each one is and their individual weaning weight, deduct their BW
of 80 pounds, divide by the number of days and you can find out how much each calf has gained.
It's not perfect but it does tell you what your cows are doing. You can figure their 205-day
weight if you want. I always looked forward to doing it, you might too.

Of course, there is a way to adjust the weight on the 2 and 3 year olds but I never did that. I
know those calves are liable to be lighter, but not necessarily.
 
'H, what is really telling is to give your calves a birthweight (I always used 80# for our calves
because we don't weigh them). If you have their birthdate and you weigh them individually,
you know how many days of age each one is and their individual weaning weight, deduct their BW
of 80 pounds, divide by the number of days and you can find out how much each calf has gained.
It's not perfect but it does tell you what your cows are doing. You can figure their 205-day
weight if you want. I always looked forward to doing it, you might too.

Of course, there is a way to adjust the weight on the 2 and 3 year olds but I never did that. I
know those calves are liable to be lighter, but not necessarily.
Weight per day of age averaged 2.79 across the board.
 
Good moisture and a great grass years certainly has a lot to do with the weaning weights. But the extra time on the cow helps a lot too. I had one pair escape this year. They were caught by a neighbor 6 weeks after the rest of the cows were shipped and calves weaned. He turned into the heaviest steer we had. But figure it, 42 days at 2 pounds a day is 84 pounds. For your calves if you were a month later weaning at 2.79 pounds a day. 31 x 2.79=86.49. It sure helps increase the weight if you have the grass to leave them on the cows longer.
 
Good moisture and a great grass years certainly has a lot to do with the weaning weights. But the extra time on the cow helps a lot too. I had one pair escape this year. They were caught by a neighbor 6 weeks after the rest of the cows were shipped and calves weaned. He turned into the heaviest steer we had. But figure it, 42 days at 2 pounds a day is 84 pounds. For your calves if you were a month later weaning at 2.79 pounds a day. 31 x 2.79=86.49. It sure helps increase the weight if you have the grass to leave them on the cows longer.
In our tough conditions and harder winters, it is best to get the calves off the cows fairly early.

We always wanted to get the calves off the cows by mid-Oct.
It gives the cows time to put condition back on that they need to winter well. After it gets cold and turns to winter you can't hardly feed them enough to put the condition back on. It's much cheaper
to have a cow go into the winter in a BS of say, 6, and maintain them, to have them go into
the winter in a BS of 4-5 and try to increase a body score. At a 6 BS they can lose 40 pounds and
still be at a BS of 5.5 when they calve. Anyway, that's what works best in our area.
Keeping the calves on the cows til now and you hit some late fall snowstorms, you have lost
all the way around. IMO. I'm glad it works for you though.
 
Since I am calving year round,I wait until I get at least a batch of 10 to 15 head and I shoot for at least 4 month old calves,so sometimes there will be some calves as old as 6 months in the groups I pull.I have a place that I take all to wean and supplement them on native grass,improved pasture,wheat,and hay grazer,with some cubes to put weight on fast.Spending $375 a month on them guarantees the best weight gain possible and it makes them easy to call to the pens when I want them there to trap a group,and take them to the sale
 
In our tough conditions and harder winters, it is best to get the calves off the cows fairly early.

We always wanted to get the calves off the cows by mid-Oct.
It gives the cows time to put condition back on that they need to winter well. After it gets cold and turns to winter you can't hardly feed them enough to put the condition back on. It's much cheaper
to have a cow go into the winter in a BS of say, 6, and maintain them, to have them go into
the winter in a BS of 4-5 and try to increase a body score. At a 6 BS they can lose 40 pounds and
still be at a BS of 5.5 when they calve. Anyway, that's what works best in our area.
Keeping the calves on the cows til now and you hit some late fall snowstorms, you have lost
all the way around. IMO. I'm glad it works for you though.
I do understand that there are lots of variables involved. In the the case with our one and done cows the landowner wants all the cows gone by September 1. So about mid August they get gathered and the old cows get a trip to the plant. By mid October the cow price will drop every year. And the cow value is a big part of what makes this work. So off they go early. I was just saying if for some reason, like a cow going walk about or personal reasons you wean later you can expect heavier weaning weights. I know we really suffer with any late April born calves as they are only 3 1/2 months old at weaning. But buying broken mouth bred cows at the sale is like what Forest Gump's mother said about a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
 
In our tough conditions and harder winters, it is best to get the calves off the cows fairly early.

We always wanted to get the calves off the cows by mid-Oct.
It gives the cows time to put condition back on that they need to winter well. After it gets cold and turns to winter you can't hardly feed them enough to put the condition back on. It's much cheaper
to have a cow go into the winter in a BS of say, 6, and maintain them, to have them go into
the winter in a BS of 4-5 and try to increase a body score. At a 6 BS they can lose 40 pounds and
still be at a BS of 5.5 when they calve. Anyway, that's what works best in our area.
Keeping the calves on the cows til now and you hit some late fall snowstorms, you have lost
all the way around. IMO. I'm glad it works for you though.
We try to do it the way Faster Horses said, Last year our winter set in the first of November and was an ugly 2 month. The cows didn't get that chance to pick up and we are paying for it. Our calves were light this fall and we had way to many open cows, No green grass all summer didn't help either.
This year with the better fall and getting them some Big Muddy Bossy Bloomer they are shiny and really picking up, Amazing how fast with the right conditions they can turn it around.
 
Our ranch is all contiguous with headquarters in a valley and the pastures on the ridges with deep timbered canyons that are oriented away from home. Finding and gathering all the cattle in the fall is near impossible so we just throw open the gates and wait for the snow to push them home to the hay meadows in early winter. Letting the calves learn to eat hay along side the cows and weaning later seems to greatly reduce the stress and sickness we have to deal with. We weaned in October due to the drought in 2021 and I was shocked at how rough the weaning was on both us and the cattle! This year, our April- May born steers averaged 570 lbs and the heifers 530 lbs. There were quite a few 7 wt steers and 6 wt heifers but the 4 wt tail enders brought the averages down. The cows are looking fat and the calves are staying healthy so far.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top