Karen Cambre, Sharpe, Kenneth W.
News Article for July 3, 2017
Independence Day should mark the end of the breeding season for beef operations. High midsummer temperatures will reduce fertility greatly for both cows and bulls, and any successful breeding this summer will result in calves being born too late for good performance.
Typically you want a fall calving season, which is October through December, or a spring calving season, which will produce calves in January, February and March. These are the six best months to produce calves that can grow when given proper nutrition. For calves born in late spring through early fall, the temperatures are too hot for cows and calves to be able to eat enough for good growth.
If you want a fall calving season, you can return the bulls to the cow herd about New Year’s Day. And if you want spring-born calves, return the bulls about April Fool’s Day. You can get an exact breeding time for when you want calves born by plugging in your breeding dates on a gestation calculator or figure it yourself based on a 283-day gestation. It is least expensive to have calves when you have available forages for nursing cows, so plan your breeding season to have calves when you anticipate having ryegrass or other forages.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture