Needless to say, breeding season has just gotten into full swing around here. As I write, the boys are still AI breeding on that big group of heifers. Most of them they heat detected and bred. Now it’s time to time breed the ones that haven’t shown signs of estrous. We used the seven-day CIDR protocol on them.
We are trying out a new synch regimen on two groups of cows. Next week we will pull the CIDRs and give them a shot of prostaglandin. That protocol requires three trips through the chute, not counting the insemination. Research has shown this to be very effective method of getting cows bred, so hopefully the additional labor will prove worth the trouble. We have another group of cows that they are going to do straight heat detection and they have already bred a few of them.
Had the vet up earlier in the week to do semen testing and that went well as he passed all bulls. Some of those bulls are sold and now delivered, the rest to go either to a new home or be turned out with our cows and heifers. He also vaccinated our fall-born replacement heifers against brucellosis, so that job is out of the way, as well. We turned the heifers out onto a field where we had sown some spring oats for grazing, so hopefully they will benefit from those before they play out.
We still have a pretty good number of cattle on feed here and for the first time in quite a while we may have more on a finishing diet than just backgrounding and growing. With this economy in the condition it is, it just seems hard to get a decent bid on these 8-weight feeders, even though the futures still look pretty good. For now, feed prices aren’t getting any higher and actually corn down here has cheapened up close to 50 cents a bushel. When we worked out some projections, if things hold as they are now, it looks like it will pay to keep these things and feed them out. Hoping that will hold true.
We did a check weigh yesterday on 125 high-quality Angus steers that we have had on full feed for over 100 days now. On average, they are gaining right at 4 pounds per day. When we take a look at their feed costs during this past 45-day period, their cost of gains are holding in that 110 to 114 range, so we feel pretty good about that. They should market in July or August and we are anxious to see how those lots closeout, as well as how they grade and yield, as they have the genetics to marble and grade very well.
The weather down here has not been bad at all. Just a few random hot days. Still ample moisture. The next week looks very pleasant temperature-wise, with good chances for rain about three of those days. We still have July and August ahead of us, so plenty of opportunity for hot and humid conditions. Wyatt just started his American Legion baseball season and I am helping coach that team once again. Lots of baseball to play in June and July, so that keeps our nights busy, and the days will be, too, as there is always so much to do on a diversified beef cattle operation. Praying that all goes well and everyone stays safe.