There are factors we can’t control in beef cattle reproduction, so we need to pay attention to the factors we can control.

Bob Larson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, Dipl. ACVPM, Kansas State University, lists some of the things he likes to see in beef cattle reproduction:

  • A controlled breeding season of 65 days, in some situations up to 90 days. “If it is difficult to remove the bulls from the breeding pasture after 65 days, I am usually very comfortable leaving them with the cows up to 90 days,” Larson says, “but I will likely cull late-bred cows.”
  • A lot of the exposed cows to be pregnant. “I want 95% of them pregnant in a controlled breeding season.”
  • The herd should be “front-end loaded.” “I want well over half to get pregnant in the first 21 days and almost all of them in the first two cycles,” Larson says. “I want every year to be good. I want to get momentum going.”

To continue momentum, Larson wants to create a herd that has 95% pregnant and is front-end loaded every year and it never stops. “That is where disease issues and lack of bull BSEs are the things that cause the wheels come off of a perfectly good system,” he says. “I have to have the controls in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.”