When can weaned calves go back with the herd

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When can weaned calves go back with the herd

bigdave06's picture
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Joined: 24/04/2016

Hi iI need some advise on weaning some 8 month old heifers that I intend to keep.

I have them in the yard (for the last 3 nights) and will keep them there for another week.They are becoming very quiet and the crying is slowing down.

My question is when can I put them with the herd.

All the books say yard wean for 10 days but nothing else.

Regards Graeme

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MalFarmStyle's picture
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Joined: 02/06/2016

 

Hi Graeme,

You are doing a good thing by weaning in yards and small holding paddock. Put the cattle through the race and crush a number of times. Put their feed in the holding paddock (well fenced, shade/shelter and watered) and make the weaners walk through the crush on the way to the feed. Suggest you walk through them often and generally get them used to you, yards, dog, noise etc. This good training will last for their lifetime and make stock handling more enjoyable and safer. Any animal that doesn't conform (still nervous / flighty) suggest cull asap.

Re your Q: suggest allow 4 weeks before putting the weaners back in the herd. Even after this time you will need to watch for calves sucking. If there are some, you will need to remove them until the cow (s) have dried up completely.

Hope this helps.

Mal

bigdave06's picture
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Joined: 24/04/2016

Hi Mal thanks for your help.The calves are starting to eat out of my hand and i am working them through the yards each day.

I had 3 mad mothers that are now at part of a jucy hamburger and i dont want stock like that again.

I had thought of putting easy weaners in there noses after the 10 day yard wean.I did not want to run 2 herds unless I have too.

What do you think.

Regards Graeme

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MalFarmStyle's picture
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Joined: 02/06/2016
Hi Graeme,
 
Having only one mob to rotate your pastures is a big positive if you are limited in your number of paddocks (which most of us are). It is very important to know that the weaners will need much higher quality feed than dry cows, so if you run the 2 mobs together, this could mean that the weaners are not getting enough nutrients for growth or the dry cows are getting too much for dry cows and being in the last trimester of pregnancy which could result in big birth weights.
 
Options: get more paddocks, temporary electric fence, agist one of the mobs, creep feed the weaners, keep feeding the one of the mobs.
 
If you really have to have just one mob, “easy weaners” is an option and they do work, not 100% and not without the weaners and cows stressing and usually losing some weight and “easy weaners”.
 
A Whole Farm Plan can help to organize your grazing and stock movement to improve your farm productivity and ease of management.
 
Sorry I can’t give you an easy answer.
 
Mal

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