I don’t consider myself to be a cattle expert. Not by a long shot! However one of the things I wanted to do before buying our first calf was get in to seasonal calving. When do the local deer and elk have their babies? That’s when I want to have our calves.
But is that right? Everyone else around here calves in winter or early spring. Am I making a mistake?
The basic idea is you want the calving in late May/early June to provide the cow with a month of good grass ahead of calving. She will regain any weight lost over the winter and get good nutrients to the calf during the last month of growth. The calf is born in to warm weather, so there is no weather stress. The pasture provides great nutrients to the cow through the summer for milk production, and the green grass is helpful to the calf for rumen development. It all makes so much sense! Read more about all of this on this short web page.
Drawbacks to seasonal calving? Flies are potentially one of them. However we’ve read that fly exposure to the pregnant cow in late spring passes on fly resistance to the newborn calf. We’ll see about that. Another is the animal is potentially younger & smaller at market time. At this point I plan to finish my butcher animals in May and June each year, with a butcher date of about July 1 when the animals is a full 2 yrs old. Is 25 months old enough time to fully grow and express themselves?
Anyway, lots of learning as always. But I thought you might appreciate this.