Here on the farm, a new breeding season is officially underway. Our leased Red Angus bull arrived at the farm a few weeks ago and our 10 heifers and 10 cows enthusiastically welcomed him! Our ten calves were a bit curious at all the excitement. In way of introduction, Nebula bull sniffed the rear of each heifer and cow. After he made the rounds and satisfied himself that no breeding was needed at that particular moment, he commenced to grazing.
With one breeding season and one calving season under our belts, we have learned a bit more about what we want in a bull. We have high hopes for this bull and all reports lean towards him being a calving-ease bull. Time will only tell. Check back with us in May 2015! 🙂
As with our breeding season last summer, we are taking detailed notes on any and all breeding activity and signs of estrus/cycling in the herd. A large majority of active breeding tends to happen between the hours of 7pm and 7am. Therefore, we are conducting our twice-daily, 30-minute minimum observation sessions during this window of time. We transfer our written notes into our CattleMax software. Cattle Max allows us to keep an organized account of breeding as well as notes on cycling and related behavior.
Nebula bull is a very interesting bull to watch. He is extremely thorough and he is constantly checking each female to see if she is ready for him. When Nebula isn’t eating or drinking, he is making the rounds of the herd. We are extremely pleased with his performance as well as his personality thus far.
I have seem him exhibit the Flehman response (curls back upper lip to detect if female is cycling) more times than I can count.
We are just three weeks into our 60-day breeding season, but we believe that the majority of our 20 cows and heifers have been bred. Jeremiah or myself have either witnessed the breeding act itself or observed a bent/lifted tail on one of the heifers or cows that had been followed by the bull, which would indicate a recent breeding. Of course, there is no guarantee that all of the breedings took or that the pregnancy will be viable. As the breeding season progresses, we will be watching closely to see if any of the females that we thought were bred come into estrus again. If some or all do not cycle again, we will feel confident saying that that animal is pregnant!
For the next month and a half we will work hard to continue with our observation sessions and note-taking in the hopes of our remaining girls being bred. In November, we will once again have another pregnancy check and see how well Nebula bull performed.