Dr. Glenn Selk Reminds Producers that Fall Calving Season is Quickly ApproachingTue, 11 Aug 2020 07:53:45 CDT
Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist, offers herd health advice as part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Selk reminds producers that Fall calving season is fast approching.
Many fall-calving cow herds are managed to begin the calving season near the first of September. Data from Oklahoma State University research indicates that fall calving may begin even sooner than producers expect.
The average gestation length of cows that gestate during the hot summer months has been shown to be about 5 days shorter than counter parts that are bred to have the last trimester of pregnancy in cooler weather. (Kastner, et al. 2004 OSU Animal Science Research Report). At any time of year, calving dates will vary slightly around the predicted average.
Some will naturally be born earlier than the “gestation table” in handbooks would indicate. Therefore, producers with fall-calving cows should expect the first calves to arrive as much as 10 days ahead of the predicted first calving date.
Consequently, the checking of first calf heifers should begin around the 20th of August if the predicted first calving date is September.
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