What is controlled breeding? A set plan to shorten the calving season. Factors that affect the length of a controlled breeding season: –Marketing objectives –Size of operation –Personal preference A typical breeding season is 60-90 days. 70% of cattle producers in the Southeast do not use controlled breeding.
Controlled Breeding Advantages How to Implement a Program Results
Advantages of Controlled Breeding Labor Nutrition Health Marketing
Labor Your labor is decreased by controlled breeding. When calving you will be able to watch cattle for a shorter period of time. You reduce labor by weaning only once a year.
Nutrition Controlled breeding allows you to meet the nutritional needs of each cow more efficiently. All calves are weaned on one date which allows you to start all of them on the same feed, the same day.
Health Controlled breeding programs use only one trip to the chute which allows you to vaccinate, castrate and dehorn all at once.
Marketing You have more calves the same weight, size and age. –This increases your marketing options at the time you select to sell your calves.
How do I start? First Year First things first! Build a good, strong bull pen. Remove bull from herd. Pregnancy check all cows. –Cull all open breeding age females and females with calves 5 months of age or older. Place bull with cows for 6 months.
Second & Third Year Second Year: Follow all previous steps except leave bull with cows for four and a half months. Third Year: Leave bull with cows 80-90 days.
Cows In order for cows to rebreed quickly they must be in optimum body condition score. The optimum BCS for cows entering the breeding season is a BCS of five to six. Although attaining this score may require nutritional supplementation it will allow cows to have a higher conception rate. In the range of 85-90% conception.
Bulls In a controlled breeding program the cow to bull ratio will be lower than that of a year- round breeding program. Typically a mature bull can service 25-35 head. Prior to the breeding season a breeding soundness exam should be done. Also the bull should be in good condition.
The Results More calves within a shorter period of time that are uniform in size, weight and age. –Improves marketability of calves. Lower labor cost as a result of only weaning and vaccinating once a year.
Bottom Line Controlled breeding programs allow you to sell more calves in a shorter period of time. Therefore equaling more money $$$$$!!