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Cell grazing: Where do I separate my bull to?  RSS feed

 
Rosco Angel
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I have 10 - 3 day cells. Ive pulled my bull out with 4 cows that will give birth soon , where do i put him?

I cant really make a bull paddock but i can let him follow the herd around the rotation maybe 15 days behind. So this will screw my grass?

Do i put him by himself? Or 1 other cow?

Do i sell him and just hire a bull when needed?

Any other possibilities?

R.
 
Wes Hunter
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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A few thoughts:

I don't really see the point in separating him out now.  I'd leave him with the cows to make your life much simpler.  You presumably have no young heifers you want to avoid being bred, so I don't know what damage he might do.  Leave him in, on the other hand, and when the cows come back into heat (say, 30 to 90 days or so), there he'll be, ready to breed them back.

Don't underestimate a horny bull's ability to get to the cows when his services are needed anyway.  And being a herd animal, he's not going to want to be alone anyway, even when they're not in heat.  That's just that much more incentive for him to disregard your plans of separation.

Putting him 15 days behind your cows will screw up your grass regrowth, yes.  It shouldn't be regrazed that soon.  For that matter, your 3-day paddocks most likely ain't; grass growth isn't constant.  It's better than continuous grazing, sure, but you can do much better with just a little more effort.

Selling him is certainly an option, but you'll need to get another pretty soon.  On the one hand, it's kind of a waste to keep a bull for only four cows (wouldn't you rather have an extra cow and calf for the space usage, and just hire a bull for a few short months each year?).  On the other hand, dealing with moving bulls in and out can be a pain, and there's a certain likelihood that you hire a dud, or can't get one when you need him, or can't get the breed you want, or just can't get a bull you'd want to put your cows to.

I'd say if you opt to keep him, which is entirely your choice, you're just creating problems for yourself if you try separating him.  Unless you have good reason to believe he'd harm the new calves for some reason, I just can't see why you'd want to separate him now.
 
Cody DeBaun
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Seconded for the cell grazing pattern- 15 day rotation won't capitalize on the benefits of cell grazing, but will still require all the work!
 
Travis Johnson
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Why don't you just sell the Bull (or have him slaughtered and use the meat for your own use) and then have your cows artificially inseminated? With cows it is extremely easy and if a knowledgeable neighbor will not do it, a veterinarian can. What little you will pay for the farm call, the veterinarian bill, and the semen shot, will be much less then raising a bull for only four cows.
 
Rosco Angel
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Thanks for the replies

Wes. I think i didn't explain correctly, ive pulled him out of the main herd bc of the heifers. I have him with newer cows who havent given birth yet.

I think ill sell him. I can hire a bull fairly cheaply here.
Hes a bit of a pet so it will be a shame. 

Thanks.

 
Dave Dahlsrud
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I know Greg Judy runs one herd commingled with bulls, heifers, newborns all of it together.  He's had good success with this system in Missouri, but he has a large herd.  That being said I separate my bulls away from the heifers (keep them with my milking cow), but I have plenty of room.  I think if I were in your situation and I really liked the bull (for more reasons than just being a pet) I would try out the commingled herd and see what happens.  I don't think one season would be catastrophic in the long run....

 
Wes Hunter
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Rosco Angel wrote:Thanks for the replies

Wes. I think i didn't explain correctly, ive pulled him out of the main herd bc of the heifers. I have him with newer cows who havent given birth yet.

I think ill sell him. I can hire a bull fairly cheaply here.
Hes a bit of a pet so it will be a shame. 

Thanks.



I'm still not following.  Your "newer cows"...I assume they are bred but haven't calved yet?  Why remove the bull from that group?  Where/how are they grazing in relation to your "main herd" with the heifers?
 
Wes Hunter
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Dave Dahlsrud wrote:I know Greg Judy runs one herd commingled with bulls, heifers, newborns all of it together.  He's had good success with this system in Missouri, but he has a large herd.


I've had the pleasure of hearing Greg Judy speak a few times.  I distinctly recall him stating that young nursing heifers on grass will almost never get bred too young, as the act of delayed weaning and an all-grass diet conspire to slow down sexual development.  Well... I had one Dexter calve at 20 months old a couple years ago, and a Jersey that calved at 18 months last year.  Both calves were fine, and the mommas did great, but it was still a fair cry short of my targeted 24-month age.

I don't know if Greg hasn't had this happen, or if the fact that all involved did fine indicates they weren't actually "too young," or what, but I wouldn't necessarily bank on it.
 
Travis Johnson
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It is hard on the mothering animal as they need time between lambings/calving/foaling etc to get ready for the next one. A farmer can push it, but it is not best.
 
Rosco Angel
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Wes.

So i need to put at least 1 with the bull. Atm i have 4 with the bull, maybe i sld take them back to the main herd and just leave 1. Bull will jump Neighbours fence if i dont leave at least 1.

The rest of the herd are still in the rotation and bull a few of paddocks behind. So wld 2 head ruin my 30 day rotation?

I contacted judy and he said let bull run with the herd but im not game enough.
 
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