Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeLivestockBeef CattleDo Your Calves Have Winter Coats?

Do Your Calves Have Winter Coats?

Most of us have one or two winter coats.   Sometimes we wear more than one coat at the same time.   Winter is a time of shorter days and colder temperatures.   Unless you live in the tropics, you need to wear a coat most of the time during the winter months.

God created cattle to have a summer hair coat and a winter hair coat.   That allows them to survive temperature extremes from 40 below zero to 120 degrees.

I’ve seen lots and lots of calves born – in every season of the year – but I have NEVER seen a calf born with a winter hair coat.   No matter how cold it is, all calves are born with a summer hair coat.   Folks, what does that tell you about when your calving season should be?

I know this bothers some of you, but I still view winter calving as being borderline inhumane.   It just isn’t right!   It is also very labor and feed intensive.   As time goes on, winter calving will continue to become less and less cost effective and less and less sustainable.

I recently scanned through an article in an ag publication in which a seedstock producer said, “I inherited early calving from my dad.”   He starts calving in December.   On cold days, he keeps his entire cowherd bedded down indoors.   Folks, you don’t have to calve in the winter just because that is the way it has always been done.   Some traditions don’t make sense and need to be abandoned.

My experience has taught me that we can actually wean more total pounds of calves when we calve in May – even though our individual weaning weights have been slightly reduced.   How can that be?   We have much less sickness and death loss.

Want to meet Kit and hear about his latest work? He’ll be speaking at this conference.

Calving in sync with nature has allowed us to wean MORE TOTAL POUNDS – that are worth MORE PER POUND.   On top of that, our feed and labor expenses have been REDUCED significantly.   We are having a whole lot MORE FUN and we are much MORE PROFITA-BULL!


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Kit Pharo
Kit Pharo
is an industry leader in developing bulls on forage, and is internationally known as a successful rancher and businessman. In the mid 80s, Kit started out by leasing grassland and buying cows. In the beginning, he strived to build a herd that would wean bigger calves, but quickly learned that increasing weaning weights did not increase profit. Kit then changed his management approach to be profit-driven instead of production-driven, and carried-out management practices to reduce and eliminate expenses. At the same time Kit implemented ways to increase beef production per acre – compared to beef production per calf. Over the last 25 years, Kit has grown his ranch into a very profitable family corporation. From the first production sale of 7 bulls in 1990, Pharo Cattle Company now produces and markets over 800 forage-developed bulls every year. Kit Pharo advocates several no-nonsense ways to put profitability back into ranching and publishes a quarterly newsletter that is sent out to over 20,000 people.

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