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righter

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Have any of you had experience -- pro or con -- with the theory that if you feed cows late (10 p.m. was the suggestion I heard) they will not calve at night? Has anyone heard of any research on the idea?
 

Denny

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I find the earlier in the morning I feed them they eat then calve in the afternoon.We have calves at night but not many usally 5 A.M. is a hot time of the day.
 

canadian angus

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We have been following that regime since 1985, works well but there are tricks. Start at least 3 weeks before calving, and limit feed, don't feed them so they waste or lie on feed, we increase feed dramatically after calving. On the on test we had 18 calves out of 900 born between 11:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M., of those about 3 where long calvers and a few in the mornin were sloppin wet at 7:00.

Never knock it till you try it.

CA :D
 

sw

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When we calved in the spring we fed right before dark and most of the calves were born from daylight till noon. You will still get some calves in the night but usually you see them messing around when you feed them and you know something is up. Now that we fall calve the cows are on pasture but when it is hot they tend to graze more at night and in the cool of the evening, so most all of the calves are born from daylight till noon. We don't even bother with checking them at night unless we see something going on just before dark. I sure miss getting up every 2 hours and going through the heifers. NOT
 

Jason

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I've done it before too, you get the odd one at night still, but usually just after feeding or just before morning.

You don't have to feed at 10 PM either. By 4 it works, but only if you feed once per day.

I am feeding around noon, and we are getting most of the calves in the early morning hours. Its warm so they are calving out on a hayfield. Amazing January!
 

DJL

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We've also fed in the evenings for years, with good luck. We used to feed at 10:00, but that has been moved back earlier in the evening with no trouble. One neighbor tried it, but had to put his own touch on it, and fed his heifers some more in the morning, and then proclaimed the program a failure :roll:
 

DJL

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I should mention that feeding in the evening is no big chore, when all you have to do is go out and open a gate to the bale feeder area to let the heifers in, and you had to go out and check anyway. We do get a few night calves, but most of them are pretty fresh at the 6:00 check. We used to check at 2:00, but find we are pretty safe skipping it unless its brutally cold. In that case, Murphy's Law kicks in, and I never challenge Murphy! A skipped check then would probably guarantee a calf-cicle.
 

theHiredMansWife

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righter said:
Have any of you had experience -- pro or con -- with the theory that if you feed cows late (10 p.m. was the suggestion I heard) they will not calve at night? Has anyone heard of any research on the idea?

We've been on three different ranches (800-1200 head on each place) where the practice was to feed in the afternoon (3-5PM) to avoid night calving and for the most part it worked. Only a handful of cows ever calved over night.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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I used to feed in the mornings and had calves dropping all over the clock, with the majority in mid-evening, around 8 or 9 pm. Switched to feeding at around 5:00pm and find that most of calves are coming in in the mornings, usually after 6am. As was mentioned, its not completely foolproof, but its close.

I've started feeding in the late afernoon about 6-8 weeks before calving and it worked, but find that if I feed in the late afternoon throughout the year, I get even fewer calves at night.

Rod
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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There is another benefit to late afternoon/evening feeding according to one source I read. Since there is a lot of energy released (heat generated) during digestion, the animal stays warmer during our cold Northern nights when fed late in the day. This leads to less energy being used by the aniaml to just keep itself warm during the coldest part of the day.

Has anyone else come across anything (thang) :wink: like this?
 

PureCountry

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Some beef specialists with Alberta Agric. have told me that theory of digestion and what-have-you. Makes sense to me.

righter - all I can say that hasn't been said, is if you don't want to have to worry about calves freezing in the night, calve in June/July. I'm lovin it, and we calved for years in Feb and March. Calving season is fun again. :wink:
 

John SD

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I agree with the later calving, PC. For the last 3 yrs I have started about the last week of April and continue calving through May. Not many June calves. So far I have avoided several winter storms my neighbors have fought the weather in.
 

greg

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Ya to the later calving,we start end of March...were calving in Jan.-Feb.The weathers better,calves seem to thrive in better weather,scours not a problam anymore,the later feeding does seem to work,have been doing that for years and very few night calves.
 

righter

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That warm weather calving sounds like the ticket to me, but when you don't own the beasties, not much you can do to change the program!
Have to say that the experience I have had with late feeding worked, only had one night calf, seems like it would eliminate a lot of help problems. Nobody seems to like checking the cows at night, well, except for one guy I know. :roll:
 

WB

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I have seen it done different ways. Feeding about an hour before dark seems to work about the best. Start feeding in the evening about two weeks or so before you start calving. Additonally don't have an A:M feeding as that will compromise its effectiveness. I used to laugh at this theory have seen it work too many times for it to be a fable.
 

TimH

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I feed late in the afternoon(5 or 6 pm). Most of our calves are born between about 5 am and 7 pm. By "most" I mean over 90%.
Someone else posted in this thread something about the cattle staying warmer when fed just before the night cold sets in.......I agree with that also. They generate a lot of BTU's digesting their feed!!!
Late feeding = daytime calving ain't no "old wive's tale" !!! :)
 

George

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Big dummy that I am I feed at night as it works best for me -- - - - I did not know that the bennifits of day time calving were an extra blessing.

I can't think of a night calf but did not put two and two together. I calve in April and the cows are on pasture but I feed a little grain each evening just to keep the cows coming to me. Then I check then about 30 minutes after daylight and most times I will be able to tell who is going to calve that day and most are before noon.

Just goes to show that sometimes you can just luck into doing the right thing.
 

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