Advise on winter feeding

farmerjan

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I think that maybe putting the 4 jersey steers together would be your best bet since you say the beef heifer is "far larger" than the jersey steers. Is there a way to keep the cattle in 2 groups? the 4 smaller jersey steers and the other 4 ?
Is there a reason why you weaned the heifer calf if the cow isn't bred back? And if the baldy cow isn't bred back, unless you are in love with her, I think she would be one to go as she is going to be eating a fair amount with nothing to show for it next spring. If they aren't producing a calf every 11-14 months, then they are costing you, plain and simple. Also, it wouldn't be ideal, but if the cow were gone, you could keep them together for the winter to make hay feeding easier, and maybe try to teach the smaller jersey steers to come into a separate area for some extra grain? The beef heifer will probably get a bit fat, but if you put her out to pasture in the spring and she gets bred it won't hurt her to get over conditioned this winter.
If you are more interested in the jerseys, then I would try to concentrate on them, and since you have the beef heifer, make her more tame and get her bred. If you don't have the cow to contend with, your feed consumption will go down even with feeding the jerseys a little better. Being aggressive, the cow is consuming more than her fair share by virtue of "making sure no one else gets it"....Are you wanting to run beef cows or raise "dairy beef" ? If there is no good way to keep them in at least 2 different groups, then maybe you need to think about which will better suit you....
I have both at one pasture, and I have a "creep gate" that the younger calves come through to get grain that the bigger cows can't get to. The jerseys can squeeze through it until they weigh nearly 500 lbs. And my dairy breed cows have learned real quick that if they come to the gate, to the barn, they will get fed inside . They will be standing at the gate by the time I get the truck parked to go in to get the feed into the mangers. It's easy to open it a little and let them go by me to get inside to eat and by standing at the gate, I can keep any beef cows out that think they need extra...
 

Robert Shon

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Jan: I posted a reply from my phone but it doesn't look like it made it here. We're raising Dairy Beef as a "hobby" & this will be our second season.
The vet & AI tech both suggested separating the cow & heifer after she was AI the second time. The vet is due to check her this month as it will be 60 days since she was serviced. I'll build a creep gate this week since none of the local suppliers have one in stock & Craigs List isn't showing any either. I need to come up with a shelter before I can separate the the larger ones but I've got some time before the snow flies to do that.
 

Robert Shon

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[Jan: I'll take most if not all of your advise. It's nice to get straight answers given without any judgement attached.
The Jersey was bred in July so I'm looking at a spring (May) calf. She was AI with Jersey semen so should be fine. The baldy was done at the same time but didn't take & was redone in Aug both time with Red Angus semen. I'm being told it was likely due to the heifer still nursing on her. Thus at six months I separated them.
Yesterday I moved the two smallest calves out of the mud & into the barn so feeding them the 2 gal won't be an issue at all. I am contemplating putting the baldy's calf out in the pasture with the rest of them I just not sure. I bought the pair with the hope of improving my herd. I hate to give up on them this soon !!
 

farmerjan

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One thing I would have to disagree with is that the heifer nursing the baldy cow possibly causing the cow to not breed back. If she had decent body condition, that would definitely not be the reason. Most all beef cows calve every 12 months. So they are about 60 days fresh, with the calf nursing and at the highest milk production peak when they are getting ready to be bred back. I would say it would be a bigger possibility if she were a first calf heifer, but not as much with her being a mature cow.
Example of our beef cows; spring group calves in Mar to May. Bulls go in by first of june so calves on the cows are 30 to 90 days old. Bulls come out aug 15 to sept 1st. Calves get weaned off cows sometime before Dec all according to what the sale markets look like; what the grass situation is like.... or this year we had a guy wanting 425 lb. feeder steers so we weaned according to size to fill that sale. Cows get pregnancy checked when calves get weaned or shortly thereafter. Anyone not preg had better fit into a very narrow window of "why she should get a 2nd chance back to the bull"....We make allowances for first calf heifers that didn't hold up condition wise, especially if the calf has really grown and she may be a bit on the younger side, or the grass was short and she couldn't keep the body condition she needed...Any of our "old cows" that have been REALLY good cows in the past and we want to try to get another calf out of them....and one year we had a previously fertile bull all of a sudden start "shooting blanks" and 16 out of 18 were open and we quickly shipped him and put 2 young bulls in and they got bred quickly but were still a good 4-6 months behind. They were pushed back to the 2nd calving group; we calve one group in the spring and one group in the fall.
This spring we put 4 cows that turned up open, back with the bulls. We had weaned the calves off of in March ( this group calved in sept-nov and the bulls went in from nov 15 to feb 15th) so they had better come up as some of the furthest along pregnancies or they are history. One thing to also keep in mind; you do not want to keep rebreeding a cow that is hard to get settled....fertility is hereditary. We have come to find that heifers out of problem breeders are often problem breeders...Do not perpetuate what I consider to be a defect. And I am not saying that is your cows problem and she may have been AI'd the first time a little too early or too late in her cycle and just didn't catch. But hopefully this will take and that will be the end of any problems.
 

Robert Shon

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This was her fifth calf but all of them had been breed using bulls which we don't have. The vet gave both my jersey heifer & the baldy a shot to bring them in together & the AI on 7/6 seems to have taken in the jersey. The baldy was AI again on 9/3 when three of the steers were riding her just about nonstop. I'm waiting for the vet to check her again before I make any decisions about her.
 

farmerjan

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It's hard to get the timing right with giving them shots to get them to come in heat. I think most of my dairy farmers are happy if they get 40% on the first AI after shots. If you have to do it again, try doing it in 2 shots...give one, then 7 days give another. Usually that will get them to come in a little better and be more likely to settle. I am in favor of good old fashioned "catching them in heat riding " but had a guernsey that was a b*** to catch in heat. used 2 courses of 2 shots 7 days apart to finally get her to show a good heat and it did catch her... not my idea of fun.
If your cow has calved pretty regular then I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Any of my milk cows that don't catch to AI and they will get 2 tries, will go with one of the easy calving angus bulls so that I will get calves on the ground by oct. I do not want to deal with cold weather calving and trying to get calves grafted on cows. I want them settled in and doing good by the time we start getting cold in Nov..
I'm hoping that she caught for you so you will get an early summer calf.
 

farmerjan

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Just saw the picture, yes she definitely isn't hurting for condition :D =D:D =D but she is a nice looking cow. Keeping my fingers crossed that she has settled for you.
 

Robert Shon

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Just saw the picture, yes she definitely isn't hurting for condition :D =D:D =D but she is a nice looking cow. Keeping my fingers crossed that she has settled for you.
OH, my fingers have been crossed since this all started & we did the two shot routine the first time around. The second time the AI tech said he was happy as there was definitely a slight red tint in the straw afterword.
 
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