Cows, calving, and a treadmill.... - The Combine Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cows, calving, and a treadmill....

Any thoughts on exercise and ease of calving? As it sits I am feeding the cows in what I hoped to be swath grazing, but that is long gone. They have to walk A good distance to eat and back for water and shelter. I am considering locking everyone up in a pen to make it easier to feed and prevent the handful of early calvers from taking off to the farthest possible corner to calve. I don't really want to separate the early ones off if possible. Majority of the heard will be mid march calving. Is there any problems to having a lack of exercise, there will still be plenty of room. Just not as much walking as they have now. They have had plenty of exercise scoping out the fences all summer too.....


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:40 PM
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After last spring I had enough and backed off calving a month to mid April start like I always used to be, ya the stragglers can interfere with seeding but I'd rather that then what happened to us all last year. I had enough.
I wouldn't be locking them home until you need to be, as in that they are close to starting. Of course you can always have a preemie, but once I get into the last month I watch for signs of something amiss. Locking them in at the end is never been an issue for me, as you are also backing off the higher end feed by then as well.
Exercise all winter is good, I make mine walk for the bulk of their feed and it includes up a large hill but it is only uphill one way lol, bedding and water are in corral so its real easy if I need to get someone in.

Hows you swath grazing going? Much snow down your way? A couple winters back I got some serious snow early and found that if I plowed as much as possible off the swaths, would make a back and forth pass with the dozer, and only opened up a few at a time they cleaned things up pretty decent. Then let them back in after it stiffened up a bit later in spring so they could clean up the rest. Was a lot less waste than I thought there was gonna be.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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If there was anything left to graze it would be fine, but they cleaned it up shortly after the first snow fall. Not much for snow either, still able to drive around in the fields with chained up highway tractor(still have straw to get off). This is one of the first years that I never bothered to v rake the swaths since we had such an early snow and they had most of it cleaned anyhow. Usually I v rake to a 32' swath for grazing. It has always worked well even with lots of snow. Like you mentioned, once they open one up they just go through like a lit fuse.

As for the exercise part, one of these days I will listen to that voice in my head saying you should know better. I knew the answer, but you never know lol. At least I am not feeding small squares with horses anymore, so bouncing over frozen cow crap in a heated cab is not as bad as it could be.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 10:50 PM
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Nothing scientific, but when we used to lock the cows up at the beginning of calving, it seemed that towards the end, we would pull a disproportionate number. Now I leave them out usually until we are well into calving, and they only spend a few weeks close to home when they get in the way for seeding before going back out to grass, and other than malpresents, hardly have any pulls. This winter they have about a 3/4 mile walk for water( those who bother coming for water), and another 1/2 mile walk between where I'm feeding and where they are still grazing.

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