Adding fall calving may help generate more income for cow/calf producers

US - While most producers are weaning calves and preg-checking cows, some may be semen evaluating bulls. November is the typical bull turnout time for my clients who are fall calving.
calendar icon 9 November 2006
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In our area there are many producers adding a fall calving herd to their operations to generate additional income.

Many producers have a spring and fall calving herd. Usually there are three to four times the number of cows in the spring herd versus the fall herd. This allows the producer to share the use of some herd inputs. Bulls can be used in both the spring and the fall herds.

Calving pasture and pens can also be used twice, but be sure to carefully clean them between seasons. Some producers use embryo transfer and artificial insemination on fall calvers to produce breeding animals with a little more age and maturity before breeding with them in subsequent years in the spring herds.

The warm fall sunshine on green grass paddocks is much more conducive to good calf health than the cold muddy days of spring. Producers encounter less scours and pneumonia in the calves and very few mastitis and milking problems in the cows. A decrease in conception rates of a few percent is normally seen in fall calvers, but if an early storm hits at breeding time, there may be a decrease in fertility rates. Some research shows birth weights decrease in fall calvers, but we have not seen any significant change.

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