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HOW TO: Breeding Management

Updated: Sep 1, 2021


  • An animal's life cycle begins at conception. The calf is born after a gestation period of 283 days, or approximately 9 months.

  • The length of the gestation period is one of the most critical elements impacting breeding management (the time the cow carries the calf from conception to birth).

  • A cow should not be brought to the bull until at least 50 days have passed after calving to allow the uterus to undergo involution (a necessary period of rest and recuperation from possible injuries suffered at calving).

  • In herds where calving occurs during a restricted breeding season, a cow has an extremely short window of opportunity to fall pregnant.

  • When you add 50 days to the 283 days of gestation and subtract the total from 365 days, you get 32 days for the cow to conceive in time to calve the following year at the same time. A cow goes on heat every 21 days on average (heat lasts 6 to 18 hours), which implies she only has two chances to conceive in those 32 days.

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