Is this a wierd ratio? males vrs. females

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ONThorsegirl, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    So far this year, we have had 12 calves born so far and only one is a heifer?

    It seems to come in cycles, it doesn't bother us but it just seems so weird.

    Melissa
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had two straight years when we had two keepable Jersey heifer calves born (there were, I believe, actually 7 total heifers born but only two we could keep, 4 others were JerAngus). We generally have 25 calves born a year..the past two years it was 15 bulls to 10 heifers. Thos year it is two bulls (one kept for breeding) and 7 heifers.
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    That is a pretty heavily steeped ratio. Just to share an experience, I recently bought 30 straws(AI) of a large Holstein Bull, which produced 14 calves - every single one was a BULL! The year prior, I used 30 straws of an Ayrshire bull from New Zealand, which produced 16 heifer calves in a row, then the last calf from that one was a bull!
    The country of origin probably had nothing to do with the results, but I do beleive that some Bulls are predisposed to throw calves of one sex or the other.
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    It also happens in sheep - last year, of the 33 lambs born, 27 were ram lambs. I don't breed enough cattle in one hit but my autumn calving cows produced 3 heifers and 1 bull.

    I have a friend who lives about 6 miles from me and we have discovered that we both have the same high percentage of one sex or another in the same year, be it sheep or cattle. We have spent considerable time discussing this but haven't yet come up with an answer - neither of us has a scientific bent :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can remember a few years ago, a friend who owns about 200 sheep had the same thing happen. I think it may somehow be weather related. If you recall, all of the seasons in mention were warmer than normal for their time of year.
     
  6. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    Back when I was breeding goats , in our area it was pretty well accepted that if you fed clover hay to both the bucks and the does during rut you would get a preponderance of doe kids born .. and over the years it did seem to work out that way , between my flock and several other breeders in teh area that I knew .
    For tha past 3 years in a breeding fold of 15 Highlands i have had 4 bull calves born .. now this year its pretty well even up.
    could it be type of hay ? the weather?. we have had hot wet summers , and fairly mild winters on average .. last breeding season .. though .. a pretty average summer , and the winter was fairly mild as NE ohio winters go .

    Paula
    Hyde Park Farm
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Vaguely remember reading something about sex specific semen for dairy cattle. They somehow separate out most of the male from female sperm and use the female portion in the straws.

    I've heard of various techniques for humans, but with varying results.
     
  8. floramum

    floramum Well-Known Member

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    All Of Our Late Spring- Summer Calves Were Bulls.....7. I Didnt Keep Account Of The Fall Calves, Which Were Sold Early In May. These 7 Had Two Different Sires. I Have 15 Cows.
     
  9. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    We just find it really weird beside the fact that we have one female it is the only calf with a white face, its just seems weird.

    We still have more calves to come so I will update on how many bulls and heifers. To make things more creppy, we have 1/4 of our herd calve in the winter and we had 4 cows calve in the winter and we had 3 bulls 1 heifer. So it seems to not matter *this year* for us the time of year they are born it happened in the cold and the hot.

    Melissa
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    In my readings I've come across a theory that while the bull throws both x and y chromosomes, the cow and the timing determine their viability. This would explain why certain feeds would seem to throw heifers, why certain cows seem to calve only bulls etc. This is very interesting work currently being done. I've read about it on anther forum and am awaiting specific studies to read.
     
  11. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Timing of breeding certainly is something that supposedly affects gender of calves. Male sperm are quick to move, but don't last that long. Female are slower but tend to be stronger and survive longer. So you AI early in the cycle, or hand breed early, and the male sperm die off before the egg is released.

    With our goats, we had about three years in a row when it was at least 2/3rds bucks, 1/3rd does. This year, our does barely inched by outnumbering our bucks. It has been a long time since we even came close to even in either calves or goats.
    So there may have been something in the pastures as both cows and goats run the pastures...our cows are Aied, our goats pen-bred.
    I know when we run a bull they tend to throw more heifers than bulls, but they are also young and have to work hard to reach and convince the cow to allow them to breed...so that may have some affect as well.

    With the sexed semen, my understanding is that they spin it. The X and Y cells have different weights. We haven't used it and there isn't much need to either.

    Who knows...lol

    WE still have quite a few cows left to calve (only one more that Don settled and the rest are cows I sucessfully settled via AI).
     
  12. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Roseanna, what you say about timing of insemination is the same thing said of humans, only we use a thermometer on waking to determine when ovulation happens. Need to do it a few months ahead to know body well enough to be successful at it.

    This last AI time [Oct 2nd.], Ginger [cow] was caught much earlier in her cycle, so hopefully this could be heifer. Also, she's already later than the two Jersey cross bulls she's had so far, by two days, with the same semen.

    I think if she throws bull number four this time, I'll see if I can get some sexed semen for next year's calf.