When does the hind become a priority over the calf in late summer and autumn?
When should we switch our focus from weaning weight (this year’s production) to hind conception date and rate (next year’s production)?
These questions are relatively easy to answer now that we know some of the science behind condition score and reproduction.
The number of live calves produced each season is a major driver of on-farm profitability. It is normally expressed as the number (or weight) of surviving offspring produced annually per breeding female – often called the ‘weaning rate’ of the herd. Direct costs are because we have less calves to sell (or finish). Indirect costs are related to later calving and the resulting age structure of the breeding herd.
Targets to consider
- 98% conception in MA hinds
- 85% in the first cycle
- 7 November start of calving
Triggers for making decisions
- are my hinds condition score 3 in mid January?
- am I ready to wean (see Weaning management)
- can I get my stag in early?
- how much feed do I have and what is the quality?