Beef Buzz News
Hot Summer May Cause Southern Plains Beef Cows to Calve Early This Fall Calving Season
Sun, 21 Aug 2011 15:47:10 CDT
For cattle producers that have mama cows that calve in the fall- you need to expect many of those calves may come earlier than normal because of this very hot summer we continue to experience. We talk about the urgency of paying attention now to your beef cow herd with Dr. Glenn Selk of Oklahoma State University on our Monday Beef Buzz. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for our conversation with Dr. Selk.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with OSU Beef Cow Specialist Dr. Glenn Selk
The following is an article from Dr. Selk from this past week from his regular electronic publication- Cow Calf Corner.
Oklahoma State University physiologists studied early fall (August) and late fall (October) calving cows. Data from two successive years were combined for 50 Angus X Hereford crossbred cows. According to Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist, the “early” and “late” fall calving cows had been artificially inseminated in early November or early January, respectively.
Semen from the same sire was used for all cows. All cows were exposed to a single cleanup bull for 35 days at 4 days after the AI season. The weather prior to calving was significantly different for late pregnancy in the two groups. The average maximum temperature the week before calving was 93 degrees F. for the “early” fall group.
The average maximum temperature the week before parturition in the “late” calving group was 66 degrees F. There was a 100% survival rate for calves in both groups and both groups of cows had very high re-breeding rates (93% and 96%, respectively). The average gestation length for the “early” cows was 6 days shorter (279 days) as compared to the “late” cows (285 days) in year 1. The average gestation length for the “early” cows was 4 days shorter (278 days) as compared to the “late” cows (282 days) in year 2.
Producers with early fall-calving cows should expect calves to start coming several days ahead of the “textbook gestation table” dates. They should begin their routine heifer and cow checks at least a week to 10 days ahead of the expected first calving date. Source: Kastner, Wettemann, and co-workers.
Click here to read a full copy of the Oklahoma State University Animal Science Research Report.
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