Early-born calves are better later

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Rick Funston, University of Nebraska, says the earlier a calf is born in the season, the better its potential.

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montana  |  June, 26, 2013 at 05:44 PM

Earlier calving cows are healthier at breeding time, and healthier cows give us healthier calves. If we mask the ability to breed quickly and well, by using hormones to synchronize our cows or heifers, we lose some of a rancher's ability to sort out the sub clinically poor cows by their breeding performance. Keep every cow that can breed back and calve again within 365-380 days, sell the ones that "slip back" in the breeding cycle. Easy as pie. You have kept the cows with adequate milk for big calves, high fertility, good health on YOUR program, and which are adapted well to YOUR environment. No hormones needed, and within a couple of years the breeding/calving cycle is tight and calves are big and healthy.

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