Do you have a breeding schedule on your homestead? We are breeding cows on a much different schedule these days.
We have started breeding cows in Dec/Jan so they have a fall calf instead of a spring calf. This saves us money in hay because we let them nurse until the mother weans them. When we were having spring babies they would be eating hay by fall/winter. By having fall calves they won’t be eating much hay all winter.
A heifer is a female bovine that has not had a calf yet. After her second calf she becomes a cow. Heifers show signs of heat between 9 and 22 months. We like to wait until a heifer is at least 18 months old before breeding to make sure she isn’t too small to calve. We’ve known farmers to breed around 12 months and the heifer generally has a harder labor.
Here’s some great tips: How to Know when a Heifer or Cow is Ready to be Bred.