Calving

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OzSledge's picture
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Joined: 05/02/2018 - 9:54am
Calving

This may seem like a dumb question. But here goes.
What is the best time to plan calving? Most of the literature and online info says plan for early spring calving. makes sense.
However I've noticed that around my area, and on my property when previously leased to a farmer (Pingelly WA). most lambing takes place in June into July, so early to mid winter. This also makes sense as after the first rains in June is when feed starts to grow.
Is their a fundamental difference between calving and lambing dates? or should I just copy big farmer and lamb production but with cattle.

I'm making the assumption that as we don't have the extreme cold temperatures in winter here and that feed production is highest from June-Octoberish that that's the time I should plan calving. So plan for breeding in September-October 274 days average gestation (lowline cattle) Calves in Mid June-July ish

Am I way off base here

rolly @ fi's picture
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Joined: 09/09/2011 - 11:03am

Hi ozsledge
Lambing time is determined by 2 main objectives, those being ideal cycling time (February - march) due to daylight length and shearing time. There are other influences like lamb markets and the like but these are the main 2.
So when it comes to calving generally have again 2 influences, autumn calving and spring calving. Around 70% of most cattle produced throughout Australia are spring calves. This involves joining the cows from October through to December generally speaking.
This is done as the cows have had enough time and good conditions to recover from winter, replace lost condition and be nutritionally sound enough to be cycling properly. Autumn calving cattle generally have a lower joining rate and or are harder to get up to the ideal fat score of 3 or better to join.
I would reccomend spring calving which would take advantage of spring and early summer conditions and if the summer turns dry and a bit tough, you will have an early weaning option.
I hope this helps.
Rolly

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