Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2009 Calf Crop and 2010 Plans

We worked all of the cows and calves last Friday. We had a 94% conception rate on a 60 day season....331 pregnant cows out of 352 pregged. We will combine 42 purchased bred heifers and 41 purchased cows with the 331 bred cows we kept at the Goat Ranch to form a mob of 414 head of 1100 lb cows. We are currently fenceline weaning the calves and will start moving the cows each day thru the stocker pasture where we have an excellent stockpile of forage. The plan is to move from there to the south center to finish grazing the stockpile there. My landlord informed me yesterday that he plans to spray the south center pasture for thistle, putting in jeopardy all of the legumes I've worked so hard to establish...I begged him not to but he seems dead set on it. Our cattle have proven that they will graze the thistle, and managed correctly, there is no reason that thistle (or any weed) should take over a's really a management issue, not a weed/plant issue.

Based on my calculations, with 800 head of stockers and 250 head of cows, last year we ran the equivalent of 400 head of cow/calf pairs. So 414 this year will be a slight increase in animals carried...I'm hoping to find a few more cows to buy to add to the mob, but it's not looking good.

On a side note, this winter has beent he worst on record and we've fed next to no hay, and still have a large stockpile of forage to utilize. It's been record cold with record snowfall, but we've come thru with flying colors and zero dollars of purchased feed. It's supposed to stay cold thru March which may delay spring a looks like we should still have plenty of stockpiled forage to weather the storm.

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