What a bunch of BULL
Here we go. We’re gearing up for breeding season. In JULY.
The females were placed on our breeding mineral about 40 days BEFORE we started calving. Then we moved them home just as calving season began. The bulls were also placed on breeding mineral about the same time.
Now why would we put our cattle on breeding mineral before calving?
Some of you already know the long answer to this, but for those who may not, here’s a quick explanation. The follicles that become the egg and sperm are not instantly produced. They take about 90 days to develop before they are matured for release.
The cow or heifer needs to be in good condition BEFORE she calves, so she can maintain herself and her little calf before she is ready to be bred again.
The bull has to make billions and billions of sperm. If he isn’t in top form, he will have a hard time passing his semen test, or settling cows. But is the bull responsible for open cows?
The answer to that goes back to the cow condition before she calved. The instance of embryonic death can play a large role in later found open cows.
If that cow put too much energy into herself or her present calf, she cannot support another one. Causing her to starve that embryo and it dies or aborts. Weak pregnancies also account for mid to late term losses also.
Now I’m no vet, but having a few years experience under my belt, I can tell you it’s not a bunch of bull having open cows when times are tough. But before you blame the bull, or the semen, remember, that cow (or heifer) has to do the majority of the work.
Benefits to May-July calving.
When it comes to the bulls and cows, they have endured a long winter with lower feed quality, and maybe even supply. If you are planning your breeding season for June-September, those early cows may have had a tougher winter, and may struggle to be on the front end each year.
Also do the math and look at the period the cow and bull are producing the follicles they will use to make your next generation.
We did the math. We like our later calving season. We find healthier calves, virtually no calving problems, nearly no calf losses, and our cattle are proving each year that the genetics we have built our herd on are a lot better than we had ever imagined.
Perhaps yours are too!
In closing on this subject, always do what works best for you. We do. We don’t care about what other guys are doing. We don’t have their marketing program, we don’t have their feed bills.
If you wish to have a program like our program, take a look. It’s not a simple thing. We do put a lot into it. Just like you!