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Group Title: Bulletin
Title: Constructing diagrams to represent the management system of a beef herd
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00008524/00001
 Material Information
Title: Constructing diagrams to represent the management system of a beef herd
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 10 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Richey, E. J ( Eddie Joe )
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1992
 Subjects
Subject: Beef cattle -- Breeding -- Charts, diagrams, etc -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Beef cattle -- Cow-calf system -- Charts, diagrams, etc   ( lcsh )
Charts, diagrams, etc -- Drawings   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Include bibliographical references (p. 10).
Statement of Responsibility: E.J. Richey.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: "Printed 6/92"--P. 10.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00008524
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6786
ltuf - AJG6191
oclc - 26898551
alephbibnum - 001753228

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8dt


Bulletin 278


Constructing Diagrams to Represent the
Management System of a Beef Herd

E.J. Richey




/ Centra Science
/ Library

/.iy of Florida





. ...;. ... ... .. .., ..... ....- ..,,I


Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
John T. Woeste, Dean


r


Bulletin 278



















- ., 3 '.
97?

Kii2ci


E.J. Richey, Extension Veterinarian, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida.








Figure 1 presents an overview of the major
events in a beef cattle operation. It includes an-
nual management cycles for adult cows, calves, re-
placement heifers, and bulls. The diagram can be
used as a quick reference to understand herd man-
agement and can serve as an operational calendar
for making management decisions. The purpose of
this paper is to construct a series of diagrams that
can be used to outline the major beef cattle produc-
tion activities for an entire year. Figures 2 through
14 illustrate the approach used to construct the
overview of the beef herd represented in Figure 1.
Figures 15 through 18 are additional diagrams
used to represent the different animal phases
(cows/calves/heifers/bulls) in the herd.


Figure 1.

Figure 2 begins with a line representing a group of
pregnant cows that have recently had calves weaned
from them and are labeled "PREGNANT DRY
COWS."

"CALVING STARTS" in the group of pregnant
dry cows at a date approximated by adding the esti-
mated gestation length for this particular breed of
cows to the date the bulls were added to the cow herd.
The "CALVING PERIOD" lasts for a period estab-
lished by the length of the herd's breeding season and
is illustrated by a dark "shaded" area on the diagram.
The end of the calving period is labeled "CALVING
ENDS" on the diagram. (Figure 3)


Pregnant dry cows

Figure 2.



WMm wMa




PMEGNAMT DRY COMS












a COWS NURSING CALVES

Figure 3.








PBE6MANT DRY COWS CALVIN PU








BREEDING SEASON FOR / -


Figure 4.NG CA

Figure 4.


- -- -








As the calving season nears an end, the breeding
bulls are added to the cow herd and the "BREED-
ING SEASON" begins. The addition of the bulls to
the cow herd is illustrated as an arc intersecting the
cow cycle and begins with the label "BULLS IN." PRECNAm DRY COWS
(Figure 4)

Because of the 90 day breeding season and the es- ""
timated 285 day length of gestation, calving season
and breeding season will overlap by approximately wus
10 days (90+285-365=10).

The bulls remain with the adult cow herd for the /
duration of the "BREEDING SEASON." After the / e-
bulls are removed ("BULLS OUT"), the adult cow cLVES
herd continues in the annual cycle as pregnant
cows that are nursing calves born during the pre-
ceding calving season. The cows are illustrated on
the diagram as "PREGNANT COWS NURSING
CALVES." (Figure 5)
Figure 6.
Eventually, calves nursing the pregnant cows
will be weaned, and the cows will continue in the
cycle as "PREGNANT DRY COWS," thus com- ,
pleting the annual cycle for the adult cow herd. The
diagram now illustrates the beginning and the end
of the "CALVING PERIOD," the beginning and fu
end of the "BREEDING SEASON," and the time/
of "CALF WEANING." (Figure 6)


( / /
S* CALVES



TEAMED CALVES
PREGNANT DRY COWS CALVDI PIOD /


STICKERS & FEEDERS
BuuLs
Figure 7.
PREGNANT COS
NURSING CALVES /
S C LVE . After the calves are removed from the cow herd
/ at "WEANING", a portion of them will be sold as
/ stocker and feeder calves. This is illustrated
inFigure 7 by the "WEANED CALVES" line, end-
ing with a "STOCKER & FEEDER" label.
BULLS
OUT
SIn addition, heifer calves selected as potential
breeding replacements for the herd are separated
from the "WEANED CALVES" and begin their
Figure 5. cycle as "REPLACEMENT HEIFERS." (Figure 8)


























FEDERS *\

REPLACEtNT
HEIFERS

Figure 8.


As the "GROWING REPLACEMENT HEIF-
ERS" reach the desired weight and age to be bred,
bulls are introduced to the heifers, and the
"BREEDING SEASON" for the replacement heif-
ers begin. The beginning of the heifers' breeding
season is illustrated in Figure 9 by an arc intersect-
ing the heifer line; this point of intersection is des-
ignated as "BULLS IN."


Figure 9.


runrnm d)s~m


Figure 10.


Calving begins for the "PREGNANT RE-
PLACEMENT HEIFERS" depending upon the
start of the preceding breeding season and the
length of the gestation period for their particular
breed. The length of the calving period depends
also upon the length of the preceding breeding sea-


CALVES


STOCKERS &
FEEDERS


PRiELACnmT nzIFIM
moucemamam


The beginning of the heifers' breeding season
needs to be well planned so that the heifers can
calve at a time that allows them to fit into the
breeding season of the adult cow herd. This may
mean that the beginning of the heifers' breeding
season begins 30 days before the beginning of the
breeding season for the adult cows.

The heifer "BREEDING SEASON" ends when
the bulls are removed ("BULLS OUT") from the
heifers. The cycle continues as "PREGNANT RE-
PLACEMENT HEIFERS." (Figure 10)

The length of the breeding season for the re-
placement heifers is designed to allow the "more
fertile" heifers to be bred. The length of the breed-
ing season is usually less than that of the adult cow
herd. The age of the heifer at breeding depends
largely on the ranch's ability to adequately develop
the replacement heifer to breed at 14 to 15 months
of age and to calve as 2-year-olds. Many operations
chose to breed heifers to calve as 3-year-olds rather
than make an effort to get the heifers ready to
breed at 14 to 15 months of age.


wJ.=


unnFs








son. The calving period for the replacement heifers
is illustrated in Figure 11 by a dark, shaded area
attached to the heifer cycle and labeled "CALVING
PERIOD." After calving, the heifers are desig-
nated "FIRST CALF HEIFERS" and are consid-
ered to be adult cows.


KEIFERS





SREIDIMS SEASON


Figure 11.


The cycles of the bull herds used in the breeding of
the adult cow herd and the replacement heifers must
be completed. The "closed" bull cycles are labeled
"BULLS" and are designated as such in Figure 12.

The diagram, thus far, represents an overview of
the major events occurring in a beef herd. All that is
lacking are the dates when major events begin, end,
or occur, and the lengths of certain events.


Figure 12.


Adult cow herd
Start of Breeding Season ...................................................................... 3/15/90
End of Breeding Season .................................................................... 6/13/90
Length of Breeding Season ..................................................................90 days
Length of Gestation (Herfords) ........................................................... 285 days
Start of Calving Season ........................................................................ 12/25/90
End of Calving Season ............................................................................. 3/25/91

Replacement Heifers
Start of Breeding Season ......................................................................./13/90
End of Breeding Season ......................................................................... 5/14/90
Length of Breeding Season ..................................................................90 days
Start of Calving Season ........................................................................ 11/25/90
End of Calving Season ............................................................................. 2/23/91

(Heifers calve 30 days before adult cow herd)

Heifers are bred to calve as 3 year-olds


Figure 13.


Im CALF
rim MYJ uPU








The information in Figure 13 is required to com-
plete the overview of the beef herd.

Several of the dates or lengths of events may be
calculated if other dates and/or lengths are known.
For example, if the dates for the start and end of
the breeding season are known, the length of the
breeding season can be calculated. If the date for
the start of the breeding season and the length of
the breeding season is know, the end of the breed-
ing season can be calculated. By knowing these
dates and the estimated length of the gestation pe-
riod for the breed of cattle, dates for the beginning
and end of the calving period can be calculated.


With dates and lengths of major events included,
the diagram can now serve as an overview of the
beef cattle operation and as an operational calendar
for quick reference in making decisions.

Although Figure 14 may appear to be compli-
cated, closer inspection reveals an outline that al-
lows a systematic inspection of each phase of the
beef operation. That outline includes separate dia-
grams for the management phases of adult beef
cows, calves, replacement heifers, and breeding
bulls. The following four figures (Figures 15
through 18) are diagrams representing the differ-
ent phases in a beef cattle operation.


12/25


PERIOD


FIRST CALF HEIFERS


11125


Sf


WEANED
CALVES -





REPLACEMENT HEIFERS


ERS

ERS


HEIFERS BRED AT
24 MONTHS-OF-AGE


- BULLS -


90 days
BREEDING SEASON
-low-- -


CALVES


6113


STOCK

FEED


2/13


Figure 14.


5 6/14


SEPTEMBER
12


40








A diagram for specific use in management of the
"ADULT COW CYCLE" is a twelve-month cycle
and is easily developed by enlarging the adult cow
portion of the BEEF CATTLE OPERATION over-


view (Figure 14). Note that the dates and lengths of
major events have been included in Figure 15 to
allow easy reference to these events.


Figure 15.









Figure 16 represents the "CALF CYCLE" man-
agement of the beef operation and is developed by
beginning the cycle with the start of the cows' calv-
ing period and ending the cycle shortly after calf
weaning. Note that this diagram is simply that por-


tion of the ADULT COW CYCLE during which the
cows are nursing calves, and also includes the dates
and lengths of major events occurring in the beef
herd.


Deo 25
CALYZMS SMITU


I


BULLS
OUT
June 13


Figure 16.








The "REPLACEMENT HEIFER CYCLE" be-
gins with calf weaning and ends after the heifers
have calved (Figure 17). The length of the "RE-
PLACEMENT HEIFER CYCLE" cycle is depen-
dent upon the age at which the heifers calve; some
operations calve heifers as 2-year-olds and others
calve heifers as 3-year-olds. Information pertaining
to the management of the heifers prior to weaning
can easily be obtained by referring to the "CALF
CYCLE" diagram (Figure 16). After the replace-


ment heifers have calved, they are usually recog-
nized as adult cows, and management information
about them can be obtained by looking at the
ADULT COW CYCLE (Figure 15); however, if the
first calf heifers are to be managed differently, it
would be advantageous to have a separate diagram
for them. Simply use the ADULT COW CYCLE
diagram and relabel it as "FIRST CALF HEIF-
ERS."


SEPWEMBER


Peb 23
EATING CALVUs a




CALVING PERIOD



cakvms stars
Nov 25




REPLACEMENT HEIFER CYCLE




HEIFERS BRED AT
24 mONTHS-OF AGE


Rchey Kay 14

BREEDING SEASON f
90 DAYS


b 13ULLS


N


Figure 17.


r







The "BREEDING BULL CYCLE" diagram is
used to indicate management of the bulls beginning
with their PURCHASE, and following them through
the POST-PURCHASE, BEFORE ADDING TO
THE BULL HERD, PRE-BREEDING, and
POST-BREEDING periods (Figure 18).

The "BREEDING BULL CYCLE" diagram rep-
resents the management of bulls used to breed the


adult cow herd as well as the bulls used on the re-
placement heifers. Both groups of bulls can be repre-
sented on one diagram by indicating the differences
(if any exist) in the beginning and ending of the re-
spective breeding seasons. Any differences in the
length of the breeding seasons can easily be recog-
nized by indicating, for example, "90 DAYS -
ADULT COWS" and "60 DAYS RPL HEIFERS"
just below "BREEDING SEASON" on the diagram.


aS & MEIFERS




/ -- - 11-1
SEEDIs SEASCI ENDS P
,10



May 14- pl IBare\
J im13S- AAdh CEm
POST-BREEDING


BREEDING BULL CYCLE


BREEDIM SEASON STARTS
Feb 13 2 IUirNr
Mwr 1S- Adb C


PRE-BREEDING


BEFORE ADDING TO
BULL HERD


9 PURCHASE .POST
PU E PURCHASE


Richey


Figure 18.


BREEDING









The timing of annual events in a beef cattle pro-
duction system interact very closely to each other.
The use of the "CYCLE" approach to represent the
management of the different phases of the beef op-
eration allows for a quick assessment of the opera-
tion so that appropriate recommendations for
changes can be understood by all parties involved
with management decisions. If all parties have
identical perceptions of the operation and the inter-
actions between the different cattle phases, recom-
mendations more readily "fit" the beef operation.

Examples of the use of the "CYCLE" system can
be found in the Proceedings of the 1C L i t1 'l11 1 IN-
INLAL P1tti L PI' K HItt1 L L]LiAHt, May 1-
3, 1991, sponsored by the Animal Science Depart-
ment of the University of Florida, Gainesville,


Florida. Specific papers that utilize the "CYCLES"
are as follows:

1. "MANAGEMENT CYCLES IN BEEF
PRODUCTION"
2. "REGIONAL AND SEASONAL FORAGE
PRODUCTION LIMITS"
3. "HERD HEALTH FOR THE BEEF
CATTLE OPERATION"
4. "MANAGEMENT AND UTILIZATION OF
RANGE IN FLORIDA"
5. "MANAGEMENT AND UTILIZATION OF
COMPLEMENTARY FORAGES"
6. "APPLICATION OF SYSTEM CONCEPTS
IN COW-CALF MANAGEMENT"


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, John T. Woeste,
Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May 8 and June
30,1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth
publications) are available free to Florida residents from county extension offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers
is availablefrom C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing
this publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability. Printed 6/92.




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