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Controlled Breeding Season Advantages

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Date:                 April 24, 2020
Agent:               Damon Pollard

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. Today’s topic is Controlled Breeding Season Advantages.

Having and maintaining a controlled breeding season is a valuable tool for the beef producer, as it offers several management advantages.

Restricting the breeding season to 60 to 70 days will produce a more uniform calf crop, giving producers the option to market larger, more uniform lot sizes. A controlled breeding season offers producers who have limited labor resources a concentrated calving season and limits the time needed to monitor for calving difficulty. Nutritional, health, and reproductive management are simplified when all cows are in a similar stage of production. Controlled breeding seasons also apply indirect selection pressure to the herd; cattle conceiving during a controlled breeding season match the current production environment.

One reason for “continuous calving” is the lack of facilities or resources to separate the bull from the cows. This problem can be overcome without constructing a bull pen. Forty-five to 50 days after the last day of the desired breeding season have the cows preg checked or ultrasounded for pregnancy. Cull any cow less than 45 to 50 days pregnant at that time and avoid the temptation to start a fall- calving herd of reproductive failures. If the cows were that “good,” they should be bred. Culling open cows early also allows producers to conserve feed resources for productive cows and sell culls prior to the late fall and winter price lows.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center.