Weaning age for beef calf?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JeffNY, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    One other way to wean a calf which I never tried, only saw the little thing. Is this nose tag of sorts, it prevents the calf from nursing, and in turn weans the calf without the seperation anxiety. But weaning a calf from its mother through a fence I have heard is the least stressfull.


    Jeff
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Afer a calf reaches about 200 pounds milk is just a supplement to it. By that time it should be eating forage and hay and drinking water nicely. Mom is then as much of a pacifier as anything else.

    Sound like as soon as the cow is gone and it is turned back into the herd it will find a substitute mom.
     

  3. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At five months a dairy cow has given over half of her milk already (4 months is the halfway point) so a beefer that traditionally is a shorter season cow will have gone past that, even. You can sell the cow anytime and the calf should go on quite well.

    Jennifer
     
  4. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    You are about 60 days short of the full nursing period. Around 210 days is when most beef men wean--though some calves will be older, some younger.

    Weaning at 5 months the worse you will get is a little grass belly on the calf and a slower rate of growth.

    Ox
     
  5. angus_guy

    angus_guy Well-Known Member

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    I wean mine at about 7-8 months depending on the shape of the cow if the calf is sucking the cow down (her physical appearance) then I wean after 7 months otherwise I will go to 8
     
  6. tresieg3

    tresieg3 Active Member

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    WOW WE HAD BLACK ANGUS UP NORTH AND WE WEANED THEM AT 3 MONTHS
    AT THE OLDEST,MOST WAS WEANED AT 2 MONTHS.NEVER HAD PROBLEM. :happy:

     
  7. rj_in_MA

    rj_in_MA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the replies.
    What would be the reason for waiting 7 or 8 months, maximum fattening? Am I really risking much by pulling her off at 5 months?
    -rj
     
  8. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    At 7 months of age the calf has a fully developed digestive system of its own and the milk is no more than additional protein.

    Pulling the calf off the cow at 210 days gives the calf maximum boost with about three to four months recovery time for the cow before her next parturition.

    Some farmers in areas with rich pastures and young cattle leave the calves on until the cows kick them off before the next calf arrives. Not a good practice as some cows will not kick off last-years calf.

    Calves pulled off very early often develop what is called "grass belly". They get a bloated look, their hair is rough and they just look unkempt, unthrifty. Whether this can be offset by creep feeding protein I do not know, but I never heard of a beef producer pulling calves off at two months. The cow certainly is not being used to her full potential if this is done.
    Ox
     
  9. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We wean around 6 month old. We seperate the cows and calves in the same pasture with 3 wire electric fence. Usually as long as they can see each other and hang around together it only takes about a day for them to quit bawling. I wouldn't think of weaning at less than 5 month if a cow is still on pasture and doing good. You're getting cheap feed as long as that calf is sucking, it would cost you more in feed by weaning early.

    Bobg
     
  10. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

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    Separate them in the daytime making sure that they have nose to nose contact (it's been proven to lower stress on the calf and cow) and then turn the calf back in at night with her. It'll help her dry off and the calf won't get sick from worrying himself. Over the week lower the time the calf is let out, taking away an hour about every 2 days. It is also advisable to give the calf 2 weeks to a month free from extra handling or managment ie. castration, branding, tagging, so that he can "recover". Good luck with the epic.
     
  11. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    My cow kicked the calf off at about 8 months. They were never separated, tho' It was the first that she ever nursed. I'm not sure she liked having a calf on her as she lost her first calf in '03 and I milked her twice a day for nearly 8 months.

    This year, I sold the calf inside 12 hours and provided cow's milk for 3 weeks.

    Just finished this year's 4 months of milking yesterday, after milking just once daily for past 4 weeks. Injured my knee, and we've got our first REAL snow at nearly 10" over the past 24 hours, plus I woke up with a sinus headache today that drug me way down. She's producing just about 1.5 gal. per milking, so I'm not worried much about mastitis...we've done this before without trouble.

    She's been manuring her bag really bad the past week to where it's been taking 4-6 towels to get her clean, and manuring in her stanchion, too. So, I figure she was trying to tell me something with her body language! :happy: