Meanwhile back at the ranch…

Late-calving cows will be raising calves that do not fit into Pullen’s program, which leads to several issues. (Photo by Jessica Crabtree)

By Rayford Pullen, rcpullen@yahoo.com

Hopefully, your spring calving is completed. If not, you will be dealing with the problems those late calvers bring to the table for many years to come. While we all deal with this problem to some degree, late calving cows will be raising calves that do not fit into our program for not only working calves and shipping calves, but they will be less apt to breed back due to the fact that when the weather gets really hot, bull fertility drops significantly, which may be nature’s way of preventing summer calves which never perform as well as the earlier born calves due in part to the fact that forage quality deteriorates almost as proportionately as the temperature rises and milk production declines due to the same factors.

Although I am writing this article with over a week left in the month of March, 90 percent of our first calf heifers have already calved and 96 percent of them are raising a calf.

One calf died during the calving process and one calf appeared to have been born premature while two calves died within two weeks of being born for reasons we are not sure about.

We pulled three percent of all the calves born, one with a calf puller and two by hand just to be on the safe side. The mild winter we had this year reduced our mortality greatly which means our live calves are running around 97 percent for all cows that calved. To read more pick up a copy of the May 2016 issue.