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Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

By   /  January 7, 2019  /  1 Comment

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With almost 12,000 reads, this is the most read post for December 2018. I can see why too! It’s an easy way to make your upcoming calving, lambing and kidding season a little less stressful.

Feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning.

That’s the advice shared in this video by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension Cattle Specialist. The “Konefal Method” is named after a Canadian rancher, Gus Konefal, who discovered that changing his feeding time led to more calves being born during daylight hours. Researchers at the Kansas State Experiment Station followed up with a five year study to give us all a better idea of what we could expect from a change to evening feeding.

Their results are similar to other studies. Dusk feeding meant that 34% of calves came between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Another 21.2% came between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and then another 30% arrived between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. That left only 15% of the calves being delivered between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Of course your results may vary. When I did this with my herd of 35 does, they all kidded during daylight hours making my life much easier.

If your livestock are grazing or you’re feeding with pre-placed round bales you can get a similar effect, though not quite as dramatic, by feeding a supplement in the evening. Research at OSU showed that 70% of calves were born during daylight hours just from this simple change.

We hope this video from OSU will make your life easier!

If you do this, or have done it let us know the results in the comments below!

natglc-logo-1Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition for making this article possible. Click on over to see the great work they do for all of us. Thank them for supporting On Pasture by liking their facebook page.

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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. paul turner says:

    98% of my calves come during daylight hours. I feed in the morning. Coyotes. The coyotes live with my cattle all year. The cows start calving about 9 a.m. and stop about 5p.m. I will usually have a few night calves after about 25 – 30 days of calving. I calve on pasture in April and May. I have also noticed that over the last few years, most calves are born within a couple hundred yards of where I feed. The more I let my cows be cows the better cows my cows become.

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