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Cattle Breeding 2018

Discussion in 'Breeds & Breeding - Cattle' started by Wehner Homestead, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. Mar 16, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    It’s about time for breeding season! Cattle have a 9 month gestation and our first cow to calve cycled today. We don’t breed on the first heat following Calving but that means we need to get our breeding decisions lined out.

    Otis is our PB Simmental herd bull. He only has one calf on the ground right now but we are expecting four more within the next 2-3 weeks. (Adding his pic to this thread for reference.)
    C121EAEE-080F-43DE-9FD6-B10AE0A0B1AD.jpeg

    Stay tuned as breeding decisions are decided. We will be breeding one cycle of AI bulls on all but one cow, then turn out Otis for clean-up. We use heat patches to know when Otis has done his job and allows us to calculate due dates. (The one cow, Daisy, may get sent to market before we even try to breed her this year. Only time will tell.)

    Ember and Josie are the heifers retained from 2017 Calving that will be bred this year.

    That makes for 15-16 calves next year depending on what is decided about Daisy.
     
  2. Mar 16, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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  3. Mar 18, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    First two decisions made: Bailey will be bred to Dakota Gold. Bailey is very heavy fronted. Basically her brisket has a ton of loose skin. Great for keeping her cool on hot days, not preferred in the showering. Maddie had a Dakota Gold heifer this year that is very clean-fronted. We’ve also studied his calves and feel like this may be the match that we’ve been looking for when it comes to Bailey.

    Second decision is that Daisy will be going to market. This is something that we started to do and didn’t follow through with once before. We just can’t afford to sink additional funds into a cow that was probably too damaged from her horrible first Calving (not with us) to breed again. DH has also realized that she’s more of a style that he doesn’t want to replicate in our herd. We will haul her off tomorrow night.
     
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  4. Mar 19, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    Daisy was hauled to market today. It was bittersweet. I don’t know that she could ever breed or calves again but she let me
    walk up, put a halter on her, and lead her on the trailer. Too bad cows are too expensive to keep them all as pets!

    We have also worked out a few more breeding decisions. Our goal is to have a SIMM or Maine base for the breeding of each cow in our herd. This allows us to breed for maternal traits (replacements) or terminal (clubby/show) out of any female we have. TNGL Grand Fortune is a very flashy, thick SIMM bull with a decent Calving ease epd. His calves also seem to grow well and his daughters are gorgeous. We picked three cows to use him on for next year. Two are registered with the SIMM Association as percentages so any offspring of these pairings will be considered “high percentage” for being over 50% SIMM. Those two are Georgia and Scarlett. We are really hoping for promising heifers from them! The third female being bred to Grand Fortune will be Elsa. She has more of a clubby background but still looks feminine. I’d like to add some size to her without making her have a difficult Calving. I’d love to get a keeper heifer out of her! Heifers out of these breedings will be very hard to sell! I’m not sure that we really need any more cows though...maybe we just need to get more land!

    DCC Destiny is a purebred Maine Anjou bull that is out of Ali (one of the greatest Maine bulls of all time!) Destiny is known for his Calving ease. He also throws very hairy calves. (Josie is out of Destiny.) Destiny is one of go-to bulls to use on heifers because he’s proven the ease of Calving on our cows. Two cows will be bred to him this year, Gatlin and Ember. We need to test but it’s likely these two are carriers and they could use a little maternal softening. A live calf and mama is the biggest priority though. Gatlin was one of the girls that slipped her calf three months in last year so we held her back so she’s still technically a heifer, just a year older than Ember.

    Our last heifer to decide on a bull to be bred to is Josie. She’s out of Destiny and Faultless (another Calving ease bull that’s an all-time favorite) so we needed another approach with her. We decided on Jesse James. Maizy had a hairy, correct, and thick for being out of a heifer calf out of him this year so we look forward to using him again.

    We are looking at 15 calves next year. My brother has decided to sell Reagan when her calf is weaned this year. He doesn’t get out here to see her or help much anymore so he’s ready to move on to other things in his life. I’ll miss her but not her breeding issues!

    More decisions to come...
     
  5. Mar 21, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    So as I mentioned on our farm journal, we had a farm visit and bought more semen from one of the bigs of the show cattle world. Of course this means I have to change up some of my plans. I think it’ll be neat to see what we get.

    You’ll notice that we don’t breed more than 3 cows to any AI bull. If it’s not one we have any personal experience with, we don’t like to have our eggs all in one basket.

    The only one that I’m changing that I’d announced is Elsa. She’s my sweetheart. Her mama was my first anniversary present. DH bought her from my grandpa for me. Her name was Chesney, after Kenny Chesney. That was my first concert and DH bought me the tickets as a high school graduation gift. Anyway, Chesney foundered while summering at my grandparents farm and we nursed her along to get a replacement heifer. Enter my Elsa. (I wanted to make her Queen and DD1 said “Queen Elsa??” as she’d just watched Frozen for the first time. I relented and we just went with Elsa.) Elsa was also one of our girls that lost her calf when she was three months along, so this will be her second Calving. We will breeding her to a bull named Black Power Play. He’s registered as a percentage with the Maine association so the calf will be able to be registered. Lots of success with him on second calvers was reported and he has lots of wins to his track record so we shall try it out.

    We also bought some Monopoly. He’s one of the winningest bulls of all time for how his offspring perform. He also has numerous sons and daughters that continue to produce champions. We opted not to use any of that semen this year but have some plans for it next year.
     
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  6. Apr 12, 2018
    RollingAcres

    RollingAcres Herd Master

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    Hi @Wehner Homestead
    My husband and I bought our first 2 heifers last year. Bertie (we usually call her Mama) is now almost 2 years old and Scaper is just about 1 year. Our initial plan was to breed them once then use them for beef. But after reading advices from some nice folks here, we are going to keep both of them and breed them instead. Then their calves we will either sell or they will be beef.
    I know now is the time to start breeding Bertie and we are going to go with AI since we don't have any bull and we don't have a trailer to transport her to a bull. How do we go about getting semen for AI? I read that you went to a farm visit and bought some semen. Do local farms normally sell their bull semen? Have you purchased any online before?
     
  7. Apr 12, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    Please feel free to continue to ask questions as there is a bit of learning involved. In fact, I’ll start a thread and tag you in it to make it easier for others to find in the future. ;):ya
     
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  8. Apr 12, 2018
    RollingAcres

    RollingAcres Herd Master

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    Sounds good! Thanks @Wehner Homestead !:weee
     
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  9. Apr 12, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    I started the thread. Basic info is there. I’ll add as time allows!
     
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  10. Apr 12, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Herd Master

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    @RollingAcres ; a couple of things you need to think about with AI breeding. When do you want the calves to be born? Most want either spring or fall born calves. So a cow due after March first will normally get bred after late may/early June. Count back approx 9 months.
    Where are you located? You might want to put that in your profile so it shows up and people can answer with your area in mind for some things.
    Finding an AI company in your area is the best way to go. Sometimes you can even find them in the yellow pages of the phone book. Or try going to your County extension agent. They are usually aware of who/what is available in your area for breeding. It will not be in your best interest to try to do it yourself with only 2 cows. You will have alot of money invested and with only a couple of cows, not much chance for regular "practice" to be able to get the feel for it. Mostly it is the money and no real good reason to have a semen tank sit there for 12 months of the year/ plus the upkeep to have it regularly charged with liquid nitrogen.

    If there is a dairy or large beef farm near you, you could talk to the owner or manager. Several dairy farmers around this area have been known to go breed a neighbors "backyard" family cow. They are experienced in breeding their own and will have the necessary equipment to do it. We no longer have a regular technician in this area as most farmers went to breeding their own, but there are a couple of dairy farmers, and others such as myself, who will do breeding. I was a relief tech for 20 plus years and do my own AI breeding and a few others who only have a cow or two and don't want to deal with a bull.

    The thread on AI breeding by @Wehner Homestead does explain it, but may be more than you really want to know. Most people just want to get their cow bred. One thing, getting sexed semen so that you have a "choice" of the sex of the calf is alot more expensive than just "straight run" semen. And getting it to give you a better chance of bulls is often not an option on most bulls. You will be better off just using an easy calving bull of whatever breed you want. I do not remember, do you have red angus maybe?
    Also realize that there is a chance the cow won't settle on the first breeding, and that catching her in heat is more critical for the timing of the breeding, than alot of people realize.