Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2005


Published for the Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIX December 6, 7 and 8, 2005, Rapid City, South Dakota.


I grew up on a purebred operation, where we did everything the hard way. If it involved more labor, more overhead, and more inputs we did it that way. Calving season was of course the most labor intensive, coldest time of the year. We calved every cow through the barn and watched them around the clock. Each calf was weighed, tagged, vaccinated at birth, and not to mention probably nursed. Now we calve around 2,500 commercial cows and sometimes we check them, but most of the time we don’t even see the calves until branding time.