Beekissed

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Agree 100% to what Bay said. Even if you are dead set on getting a cow and heifer calf, no bull is needed in such a small operation. Too expensive, too dangerous, too fiddly to keep them in their own space until you need them. You can take her to a farm that has a bull or even pay a vet to AI her if you want a particular breed or quality of a certain breed.
 

Mini Horses

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Animals need controlled breeding. It isn't like a hen who lays a clutch and hatches chicks. You have to consider that bull WILL breed that young heifer way sooner than her body is ready to carry. It will stunt that heifer -- even a chance you will lose her at birthing. She needs to grow up -- we are assuming she is young. And once several head of cows you still need to plan breeding's. Separate at calving, etc. Both health & marketing reasons, in addition to safety.

Plus the issues Bay has mentioned with safety. We're talking 1200# plus here, on 4 fast legs, can jump a fence with ease, who is not human friendly at many times. Always wary of you & defensive of your presence.

@farmerjan where are you???????
 

Baymule

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Oh Lordy! Jump a fence? The longhorn bull I had made me sorry that I ever laid eyes on him. Besides charging and trying to kill me, he cleared the fence like a deer. Sheriff department was always calling me to get him off the road. Too much of a liability, he got sold. Didn’t miss him!
 

farmerjan

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WELLLLLLLL, I was not expecting @Crealcritter to go so "HOG WILD" right off the bat when he mentioned getting a cow and calf from the neighbor....

OKAY everything @Baymule said is true. If you had asked/mentioned getting a bull I would have said ABSOLUTELY NOT at this time. It is TOO TRUE that a young heifer nursing a cow can get bred when she first comes into heat.

Let me tell you a story. We run a cow/ calf operation. We have around 150 cows not counting their calves and the yearling heifers we retain for replacements. I had a family of cows that was very fertile. Kept alot of their heifer calves and have daughters/granddaughters/great granddaughters. We calve them out and then move the pairs to pasture for summer grazing. So, start to calve in mar/apr/(some might be later like early may)... move to grass late apr/may.... bull goes in late may to rebreed cows for next years mar/apr calf. Some of these cows have baby heifer calves some have steers. Go get them from pasture in late fall/early winter to wean off calves and sell steers or whatever the plan is....sometimes we wean and feed for 45-60 days, sometimes sell right off the cows. Pick out the heifer calves we like and keep to raise. So these heifers are say 6-10 months old. Next thing we know, a couple are looking awfully fat.... BINGO..... a couple started coming in heat at 8-9 months, a couple get pregnant. Repro system is matured enough to get pregnant.....body is not matured. Had them calving at 17-18 months. It is like a 14 yr old girl getting pregnant.... the repro parts are working but the body is still a kid...... LUCKILY both these heifers calved on their own, had nice little calves....but they have struggled to make enough milk to feed the calves, they are stunted in their own growth because they should have been growing until 14-16 months THEN gotten bred.
I am also a little "backwards" in my thinking. The average age most try to calve heifers is around 24 months. I like to calve my heifers at the 27-30 month age. They have the growth; they have the PHYSICAL GROWTH and MATURITY and COMMON SENSE to better calve, MOTHER and raise their calf. A 16 month old heifer is barely going to understand this little calf wanting to suck and be willing to be a mother. She's still a "14 yr old teenager pretending to be a mature adult"...... it's not just the physical limitations, but the mental/instinctual ones...

I know from SS that you have a great neighbor that is helping you get started. PLEASE, get him to take back the bull because regardless of how he takes care of his stuff, you do not want this young bull breeding your animals at this time. Since he is a neighbor, you can easily borrow his bull for a month, to get the cow bred back. OR, if the calf is say 2-4 months old, get the cow bred back right now and then get him CUT, and put in your freezer for beef. The heifer calf won't be needing a bull for at least another year. Get a bull then to rebreed the cow ....that has a new calf at that time... and this heifer bred . Or as suggested, get a technician to breed them artificially....

Another thing you need to think about. WHEN do you want calves? They are a 9 month gestation. Breed in june/july for a mar/apr calf..... You do not want a calf born in January in the conditions you have .....Ind or Iowa or Ill or somewhere up there right???? This young bull will breed the cow whenever she shows heat.... they don't count and say.... hey I need to suppress my libido because this lady don't a baby in Jan or Feb...... even worse if the heifer gets bred and tries to calve in a snowstorm in January and she is too young and too upset and you can't get her in and then the calf is backwards and she and the calf die..... with too young heifers it is always a crap shoot.

I have to agree with @Baymule and others that you really should have started with a couple of steers to get your feet wet with figuring out if you really like cattle. Bay has a good point about size and handling facilities. Unless you have a rich uncle and unlimited funds.... you are going to need alot of what we call infrastucture very soon..... it's fine for them to just be on pasture, but they need shelter from the cold winter...especially cold rain that will deplete their body temps fast. If you have no problems, how are you going to catch them up to give the minimum yearly vaccinations that will save their lives from something as simple as blackleg???? If she has trouble calving, how are you going to get her up for the vet???? They do not want to be playing cowboy, and most won't, if you do not have minimum handling facilities.

Can you afford to throw away the value of an animal if she dies because she got cut and bleeds to death because you have no place to contain her for stitching up???? Or to watch her suffer as she is trying to calve with a mal-presentation and you can't get her in where the vet could at least save her if not both ????? It doesn't have to be fancy, but it has to be workable and AVAILABLE for the what ifs !!!!!!

I am not dictating to you and I offered to answer any questions you have about your new farm on SS. I think you are getting that "new farmer ownership" bug.... don't let it cost you through the A$$ and get you in trouble. This neighbor may not be the best one to help you with the cattle as I am not sure that he is a "cattleman" as much as an owner of cattle.....there is a difference.
 

farmerjan

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Another thing.... yes, they can jump fences.... but will often go through/over them which then tears up wire/fence posts... and risks injury to the animal. When he decides he is bored at home.... he is going to go gallivanting....
I just moved a 10 yr old very calm quiet bull to a neighbors to get their 2 young cows bred because they have had trouble catching heats. So we did some hormone shots to get them cycling... moved the bull there 2 days before they were due to come in heat.... He seemed very content with them. They came in heat, they think he got both bred and the next afternoon he went over 2 fences (not the greatest fences) to another neighbors because that neighbor had heifers in there that I didn't know were that close.... because one or more were in heat.....he is now residing there taking care of his 20 heifers. NOT where he is supposed to be.... Now I am going to have to worry that he will do this whenever I put him somewhere.. will he go where ever he wants... if so a perfectly good bull will be going to the stockyards. Once they figure out that they don't have to stay put, you won't keep them in.
And this bull will hit the scales in the 1800-2000 lb range and he is by no means our biggest bull. We sold one last year that was 2300 lbs,
 

Crealcritter

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I guess I wasn't detailed enough... I plan on having the young bull cut so I reckon he would be a steer then. Is this still a problem? Then I was just gonna pasture the three together and when the steer got to butchering weight, then i will butcher the steer. A few of my boys are helping me with a place for them to shelter behind the barn.
 

farmerjan

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THAT'S PERFECT.... He will be content to have company, there won't be any issues with the heifer getting bred too young... That's perfect. None of us wanted you to get into deep problems with a young bull and a young heifer coming into heat too soon. Running them all together should be just fine. :jumpy:highfive: Don't wait to get him cut, get it done asap.
 

Crealcritter

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THAT'S PERFECT.... He will be content to have company, there won't be any issues with the heifer getting bred too young... That's perfect. None of us wanted you to get into deep problems with a young bull and a young heifer coming into heat too soon. Running them all together should be just fine. :jumpy:highfive: Don't wait to get him cut, get it done asap.
Thanks you all are friends indeed. I plan on getting him cut like asap even before he's on my property.
 

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