Do Gestation Lengths Change in Angus Cattle Breed?

Blog | June 19th, 2019

While certain people lead us to believe that there is a true average gestation length for all cattle breeds, the fact is that there is not one. The statistics state that the average is 283 days; however, Brahman cattle gestate in 292 days and the Angus in 281 days, which is a significant difference. We can state many other examples of this, but we are here to discuss if the gestation lengths in Angus change from the norm. It is important to explore this topic since length of gestation can be a sign of dystocia and also, the Angus cattle farmers must be ever alert to the length of gestation in their herds.

Many Angus breeders have been a bit frustrated recently with the fact that their bred females that they purchase were supposed to give birth on one date only to be two to three weeks early. Was this done intentionally to mislead them into buying the females or are the gestation lengths actually shortening with Angus due to low birth rate bulls in the last few generations of bulls? The farmers are looking for answers to this question to better handle their birthing plans.

Also, the first-time Angus mums may be calving early for yet, another reason for short gestation periods. At times, this is due to the fact that low birth weight Angus bulls are being bred with first-time mums, which brings about an earlier gestation period than the traditional average. It might be time for Angus cattle ranchers to reset their information about expected calving times for their pregnant female Angus.

What Is the Normal Breeding Interval of Angus?

Any Angus farmer understands that the normal interval for breeding is 60 to 90 days from the time a female has been exposed to the bulls. It is difficult to pinpoint a calving time just from this information, as they only can predict it. The more precise way of calculating gestation time is through documented instances of artificial insemination when one specific date for impregnation is known.

What the Research Proves

Through research, it has been discovered that if young pregnant Angus females give birth at 275 days instead of the average 283 days that they have easier times calving. If this occurs too often across the breed, the average will need to be lowered.

For further details about if gestation lengths change in Angus, consult with our experts here at Southfork Angus. We have a long, reliable reputation for delivering prime Angus seedstock to all who need to start or replenish a herd.

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