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Too early to wean?

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:26 pm
by cowgal604
I have a handful of 5 month old calves. My cows are starting to look skinny. What's best to do. Wean my calves now (I usually do it at 7 months) or wait it out and let their mothers go down hill a bit more? All the cows are about 3 months pregnant. With them being pregnant, the cold and with a calf on them, they have lost a bit of fluff. I nose flapped half of them. We are debating if we do them all. What would you do? Is 5 months an ok time?

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:28 pm
by Nesikep
they can be weaned now, giving them some grain would probably help them out a fair bit, the cows will probably be fine without once the calves are off.. they got lots of time before they have to be productive again

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:16 pm
by bird dog
Creep feed the calves and leave them on the moms at least for another month. I wouldn't worry about the moms.

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:07 pm
by wbvs58
I have been weaning the calves down to about 100kg due to sever drought at the moment. They go onto a grain mix and hay and do fine. Cows are picking up also with bit of added grain.

Ken

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:57 pm
by MurraysMutts
bird dog wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:16 pm
Creep feed the calves and leave them on the moms at least for another month. I wouldn't worry about the moms.
Personally, without putting eyes on em and such, I like this idea! Most bang for the buck.
Unless u wanna feed dem mamas a lot more....

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:29 pm
by ccr
pictures of the mamas would be good to see what they look like. what are you feeding the cows?

not knowing anything else, i would do what nesi suggested and wean now.

can you post some pics of the mamas?

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:12 am
by Ky hills
They can be be weaned but like others have said they will need some feed. We wean some of ours that young if the bulls are still with cows.

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:42 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
I always wean my "show" calves that young with absolutely no problem. But - yes - they are fed a good balanced grain mix - about 5#/hd/day. You want about a 14% ration. It is LOTS cheaper to feed the calves, then feed the cows.
Even if you creep feed them, they are still going to suck mom inside out. If you use flaps, put them on for a week, then separate them.

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:00 pm
by Katpau
Plenty of Ranchers routinely wean at 5 months. By that age they are not receiving much of their nutrition from the cow anyway. Like Jeanne said, it is much cheaper to feed the calf then it is to feed the pair. We begin calving the end of February and wean in Mid September. The oldest calves are 7 months, but there are usually a few closer to 5 months. I've noticed that weaning and feeding the calves seems to really help those younger smaller calves. The pastures are really poor by then and the older calves had the advantage of being older when pastures were still at their best. Those older calves gained at a faster rate and are way bigger, but once we wean and feed those calves better, the younger smaller ones will start to catch up.

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:07 pm
by MurraysMutts
Image

For whatever reason I left this one on a lil too long...
Mama is behind him.
No creep. Just milk and grass. Lol

Image
Milk! It does a body good...

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:25 am
by greggy
wbvs58 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:07 pm
I have been weaning the calves down to about 100kg due to sever drought at the moment. They go onto a grain mix and hay and do fine. Cows are picking up also with bit of added grain.

Ken
Can I ask what you been buying or mixing up that we can get locally ?

I can get pellets made up but is still about a dollar a kg nearly...it is sort of like coprice starter or grower....

But maybe they would be better on a mix I can do....oats seems to be ok whole, many others prob need rolling

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:11 am
by wbvs58
greggy wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:25 am
wbvs58 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:07 pm
I have been weaning the calves down to about 100kg due to sever drought at the moment. They go onto a grain mix and hay and do fine. Cows are picking up also with bit of added grain.

Ken
Can I ask what you been buying or mixing up that we can get locally ?

I can get pellets made up but is still about a dollar a kg nearly...it is sort of like coprice starter or grower....

But maybe they would be better on a mix I can do....oats seems to be ok whole, many others prob need rolling
Greggy, I use a custom mix from Killarney Coop. I buy 4 ton at a time, I have a small silo at home. It is $515/ton at the moment, usually around $325/ton plus a bit of delivery. It is 14% protein, the grain in the last load seems to be 100% barley but will usually be a mix with sorghum plus whatever protein source they are using, soyabean meal at the moment I think. The grain goes through a roller. Plus their usual premix. The Coop has done a mighty job keeping everyone supplied over the last 18mths. It is not easy for them to source the basic materials, they are in a big grain growing area but local grain is no longer in existence.

Ken

Re: Too early to wean?

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:47 am
by TexasBred
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:42 pm
I always wean my "show" calves that young with absolutely no problem. But - yes - they are fed a good balanced grain mix - about 5#/hd/day. You want about a 14% ration. It is LOTS cheaper to feed the calves, then feed the cows.
Even if you creep feed them, they are still going to suck mom inside out. If you use flaps, put them on for a week, then separate them.
We weaned hundreds of dairy calves every year at 6 weeks. The main thing was to ensure they were eating a couple of pounds of feed per day.