Cow Calf: What’s The Cost Of A Missed Breeding Cycle?
This time of year, many Extension beef cattle educators like to talk about the importance of short breeding seasons where most of the cows and heifers conceive on the first service.
Certainly a number of issues can affect how long it takes to get the entire herd settled. Regardless, one obvious advantage of a tight breeding season is the opportunity to manage and market the resulting calves as one consistent group. However, have you ever considered the direct ‘economic’ benefit of cows that conceive on the first cycle?
Assuming adequate nutrition is available, a good calf is likely gaining about 2.25+/- pounds a day at weaning time. As a result, if he was born 21 days later than his counterpart, he could easily weigh 40 to 50 pounds less when he goes to market as a feeder calf in the fall of 2008. If feeder calves are worth $1.20 per pound next Fall, one missed breeding cycle could cost $50 to $60 for each calf that is born only one cycle late. For a cow that’s two cycles late, you need to double those numbers!
The April 18, issue # 533, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefApril18.html
By most accounts, it’s been a very difficult winter and early spring. Not only have some of our biennial and perennial forage and grass crops suffered, but some have experienced cow condition and calving issues. Is your bull the same bull he was at the end of last breeding season? This week we discuss the value of breeding soundness, and getting females settled in a timely fashion.
* Calves = Very Valuable; Bulls Deemed “Satisfactory Potential Breeders” = Priceless!
* What’s the Cost of a Missed Breeding Cycle?
* Forage Focus: Spring Pasture Management
* Frost Injury to Alfalfa Issues and Concerns
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
Master Cattle Transporter, Trucker BQA Programs Available
Colorado Beef Council Newsletter
As a transporter of cattle you play a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle. The proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of meat from these animals. Consequently, improved transportation practices can impact beef value throughout the production chain. For more information (on how to become a Master Cattle Transporter), please visit
Springtime Feed Intakes
By: Mark Venner,
Springtime is typically not thought of for extreme weather (i.e. January windchills and July heat indexes) however the quick changes and variation of temperatures challenge cattle to stay on feed. The early March blizzard and cold weather following took lots of hair off the cattle this year. This coupled with mud and rain has pressured performance and decreased closeout numbers. When I ask operators how intakes have been I continually get the same answer, that they are holding steady. I would agree with this on average, but when observing daily feed records I have seen some huge swings in intake. The weekly or bi-monthly intake averages look steady. On Table 1, the dotted line represents the weekly average intake while the solid line graphs the daily intake. Remember that you offer the animal a diet on a 24 hour period and the key is trying to get that 24 hour diet as constant and steady as possible. This insures peak performance and ultimately profit.
Modified Live compared to Killed Vaccines for the Cow Herd
Properly administered and boostered modified live vaccines cause cell
-mediated immunity in cattle. The respiratory diseases, bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), infectious bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Parainfluenza 3 (PI3), and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) all have been shown to have an impact on reproductive performance of infected cowherds. With the close proximity of herds to each other in the Southern region of the United States, it is difficult to isolate cattle enough to assure no transmission of these viral diseases. Therefore immunization with readily available vaccines becomes the method of choice for protecting the herd from devastating impacts of early embryo loss, abortion, or weak calves due to these viruses. Once the decision to protect the herd with immunizations has been made, the next decision is the type of vaccine that is employed. The following table was compiled by Dr. Ronald D. Schultz and presented at the 1993 meeting of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. This is an excellent comparison of Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) and Non-Infectious or killed products (NI).
For the small producer, embryo transplant is no longer out of reach.
by Eric Grant
Like most small seedstock producers, I’d thought about tackling embryo transplant (ET) for years. But it was something that I’d always perceived as a risk rather than a benefit. It was too expensive, too labor-intensive and too hard on your cows.
So every time I got close to doing it, I turned away, deciding instead to let nature — and the old bull in the pasture — do the work instead.
Last summer, I finally took the plunge, and we achieved some pretty good results. I got my best two cows flushed, and their genetics propagated more rapidly than I would have done with just natural breeding.
Livestock in Farm Bill Debated
High Plains Journal
WASHINGTON (DTN) — The 2007 farm bill has created yet another chance for lawmakers, livestock producers and packers to grapple with the definitions of market control, packer concentration and fair-market practices for the livestock and poultry industries.
Some lawmakers have been vigilant fighters in recent years for a ban on packer ownership of livestock between seven and 14 days prior to delivery to processing facilities. They see this farm bill as a chance to boost the cash markets for livestock producers and establish a “competition title” in the farm bill itself. Already, there are multiple pieces of legislation backing such provisions.
The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing Tuesday on the market structure of the livestock industry. Later this week, the Senate Agriculture Committee will have a similar hearing on the same subject.