Should you keep a heifer's first calf?

Asked by: Francesca Dicki V
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The higher production is attributed to improved fertility, longevity and the need for fewer replacements in the lifetime of the cow. “So here is the bottom line. It is OK to keep a first-calf heifer's daughter for a replacement, if you've done your homework,” said Cole.

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Likewise, people ask, Should you keep a heifers first calf?

Time quickly gets away when you're a cow-calf operator, but it's essential to keep the first calf heifers on track. Heifers conceiving early in their first breeding season will have increased lifetime production and efficiency.

Herein, When should heifers first calf?. 1. Age at Puberty. Heifers should reach puberty from 1 to 3 mo before the average age that heifers are to be bred. For example, in order for heifers to be bred as yearlings and to calve at 2 yr of age, they should have reached puberty by 12 to 14 mo of age.

Similarly one may ask, What do you do with heifer calves?

Options with cows that have lost calves:
  1. Keep and expose cows to rebreeding for spring calving in 2020.
  2. Put weight on and sell as cull cows later this spring or summer.
  3. Sell cows immediately and replace immediately with a cow-calf pair or wait to replace in the fall with a bred heifer/cow.


What is a 1st calf heifer?

Hopefully, first-calf heifers are the first females to start calving on the ranch. ... Breeding heifers to calve before mature cows then allows them closer to 100 days to resume estrous cycles and sets them up with better chances of rebreeding with their second calf early in the breeding season.

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What do you feed a first heifer calf?

Supplement first-calf heifers with grains (energy) like corn, corn silage, or barley before they lose body condition. “Thin heifers don't breed back quickly, if at all,” says Bjurstrom. “If she rebreeds late, it will take several lactations to get her back on track with the rest of the herd.

How much should I feed my first calf heifer?

A first-calf heifer at peak lactation is going to require at least 58 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN) and 9.3 percent crude protein (CP) in her diet just to maintain what she has. If she needs to gain some weight before breeding, she will probably need at least a 65 percent TDN and 12.1 percent CP diet.

Do cows mourn the loss of a calf?

Animal behaviorists have found that they interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time and sometimes holding grudges against other cows who treat them badly. These gentle giants mourn the deaths of and even separation from those they love, sometimes shedding tears over their loss.

How do you tell if a cow has a dead calf inside?

Absence of the vital signs, sloughing of the hair or foul odors may indicate the calf is dead.

At what age do you sell calves?

The calves will remain by their mothers' sides until about eight months of age. Then they will be weaned and sold somewhere from October to December.

How old before a bull calf can breed?

The breeding ability of bulls usually is at its peak about 36 months of age, and it declines after 5 or 6 years of age. An extra calf crop can be sired by using bulls as yearlings. However, if you're a new owner, it's to your advantage to grow out young bulls in a satisfac- tory manner.

How old is a heifer when she is first mate?

Usually it's best to wait until they are at least 15 months of age before breeding. Even though the early maturing breeds do reach puberty by the time they are around 7 to 9 months of age, it is best to wait until they are around 13 to 15 months of age before you can breed them.

How soon can a cow get bred after having a calf?

It takes at least 30 days after calving for a cow's reproductive tract to return to normal. Therefore, some cows can be bred starting 45-60 days after calving. Your veterinarian should palpate the reproductive tract of each cow as soon after 30 days after calving as possible to make sure the cow is ready to breed.

How do I get my cow to accept her calf?

"Sometimes smearing the birth fluid across her muzzle and tongue, and then onto the calf, will stimulate her normal response," says Arnold. "Using a strong-smelling compound on the calf and in the cow's nose has always been a very popular method, using something like Vick's Vaporub, or hairspray, or vanilla."

How much weight does a calf lose at weaning?

After weaning, the amount of shrink in one day amounted to 3.5 and 3.9%, similar to the amount of shrink after 8-hours of standing in a drylot. Calves did not regain their off-pasture weaning weight until 14 days later.

How long can a calf live after the water breaks?

The calf can live for about 8 to 10 hours in the uterus after the beginning of true labor (rupture of first water bag). Actual expulsion of the calf takes 1 to 4 hours in a cow and 2 to 6 hours in a heifer.

Can you see a calf move around in cow's stomach?

And although calf fetal movement is better at 7 months, but it is really only at 8 months that you can really see the calf moving around in the womb. ...

Why do farmers sometimes use chains when pulling calves out?

The chains or straps around the calf's legs can then be hooked to the chain of the calf jack. ... When the calf's head comes through the vulva, he may halt for a moment to clear mucus from the calf's nostrils. “Small amounts of pressure can be applied after the head comes out, but take your time,” he advises.

How long should you wait before pulling a calf?

Rule of thumb is 1/2 hour with a cow (AFTER the water has broken), and 1 hour or slightly more for a heifer. Heifers are "first timers" so it will take them a bit longer.

Do cows know when they are about to be slaughtered?

In conclusion, cows generally don't know that they are going to be slaughtered, and they don't have the mental capacity to understand that they are being raised for food.

How long do cows miss their calves?

Cows seem to miss their calves for at least a day or two after separation. Many cows bellow and cry for hours or days after their calf is taken away, although that varies. Some cows are also seen chasing after their calf, or looking around for their calf after separation.

Why do cows stare at you?

Cows usually stare at you out of pure curiosity. ... Since cows are prey animals, they stare at you (and other animals) to assess whether or not you're a threat to them. In this case, cows will keep an eye on you and gradually get closer to you, never turning away from you until they know you're not a threat.

What do you feed a heifer calf?

Feed high-quality grass or hay, Accuration® Liquid Supplement or Accuration® Hi-Fat Block, and Wind and Rain® Storm® Cattle Mineral. Set replacement heifers up to take the place of existing females and be better than your current cow herd.

When should I deworm my calves?

It is best to deworm nursing calves at three months of age or late June for spring calving herds or calves six to eight weeks after turnout onto pasture. Reducing the calf parasite load should increase subsequent weaning weights by 10 to 20 pounds per calf.

What do you feed a cow with a calf?

Corn, distillers grains, gluten feed, 20% cube, or silage may be good choices. Make sure the protein requirement is met, especially when corn or silage is fed. In ranch situations, the supplement may be fed on the ground instead of in bunks.