Successful calving starts now with good spring breeding

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Media contact: Gail Ellis | Communications Specialist, Writer | 405-744-9152 | [email protected]

Many cattlemen deliver bulls with their cows and heifers at this time of year, and Mark Johnsonbeef cattle specialist Extension of Oklahoma State Universityhas some tips for a successful breeding season.

“It’s always a good idea to do reproductive soundness assessments on bulls before the breeding season,” Johnson said. “BSE is a general rule and good management practice.”

Once the bulls are determined soundbreeders should focus on bull-female ratios: yearling bulls must be able to cover a cow approximately every month of their age. At 2 years old, bulls should be able to raise about 25 females. From ages 2 to 6, Johnson said bulls can successfully cover 25 to 35 cows in one breeding season.

“The cattle breeding season should be as short as possible,” Johnson said. “45 days is better than 60, and 60 days is better than 90.”

A short breeding window ensures calves are born within a tight time window the following year.

As to when to expect first calves of the seasonit depends on the breeder’s preference. Producers must turn over the bulls about nine months before the cows begin to calve.

“Last year we had a lot of people who decided to start calving later than usual after that brutal cold in February“, Johnson said. “If you want calves in early Januarythe bulls should be out in early April.

Bulls delivered with cows in May will result in a later calving season in late February and March. Learn about the cattle breeding schedule and how detect heat in cattle with Johnson on the Farm TV show SUNRISE.