Drylot vs. Grass Weaning Question

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Stocker Steve

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We are buying un weaned calves right now and fighting a lot of cold wet weather. Seems like there would be much less stress on everyone if you would "dry lot" them for only a couple days and then go right back to pasture. What is a minimum dry lot time period have a good chance of them not crawling through a four strand fence and going down the road to look for Mom?
 

hillsdown

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I would say a minimum of a week. Until they stop bawling. Because these are new and you don't know how unruly they would be I would go 2 weeks. Your moms may also be the ones that jump or go through a fence to find their calves. I just got rid of a neighbors wild cow today that jumped my 6 foot buffalo fence for just that reason. She had a nice 2 week vacation here.

I did something different this year. The heifers I kept I didn't fence line ween, I pulled their moms and move them to another pasture. It all went smoothly no one went through or jumped, but I don't have wild cattle. Calves were fine as well and I think it was because I left some cows whose calves had been weened and sold already in with them.

Good luck hot wire training them works very well too.
 

1982vett

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hillsdown":iz257u2x said:
I would say a minimum of a week. Until they stop bawling. Because these are new and you don't know how unruly they would be I would go 2 weeks. Your moms may also be the ones that jump or go through a fence to find their calves. I just got rid of a neighbors wild cow today that jumped my 6 foot buffalo fence for just that reason. She had a nice 2 week vacation here.

I did something different this year. The heifers I kept I didn't fence line ween, I pulled their moms and move them to another pasture. It all went smoothly no one went through or jumped, but I don't have wild cattle. Calves were fine as well and I think it was because I left some cows whose calves had been weened and sold already in with them.

Good luck hot wire training them works very well too.
I like to put a good calm cow or two in with the heifers. Helps to settle the young ones down and show them the ropes on how things are done. Usually keep the weaned calves in a lot a couple days then out into a larger run-around for about a week. Then they go to a small pasture.
 

kenny thomas

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You have the right idea in getting back out as soon as possible onto grass. I keep my stockyard bought calves up for three days and then into a larger lot with grass for a week or so. This is so I can still watch them for sickness. If not sick after 10-14 days they will usually be ok. Having something in the lot that already knows what is going on also helps. Leads them to feed, water, hay, mineral.
 

SRBeef

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Another approach would be to purchase weaned and preconditioned calves. They might very well be worth a few dollars more.

On the weaning, I find that if I have the cows and their calves in one pasture and sort off the cows into another adjacent pasture, separated by a barb wire fence with a hot wire at calf nose height on the calf side, things seem to go well.

I think a key is that the calves are in the same pasture they have just been in with their dams. No change there. And their moms are still visible, just on the other side of the fence...no problem. And for the cows, they can see their calves are ok. I think most of them they are relieved to get the big kid off of them, to be honest! In a couple days every one sort of gets used to being separated by the fence but no big deal....

There are a couple weaned, preconditioned calf sales coming up in Nov and Dec at least in Herefords, according to flyers I've received.

Good luck.

Jim
 

msscamp

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Stocker Steve":2gh8e5d3 said:
We are buying un weaned calves right now and fighting a lot of cold wet weather. Seems like there would be much less stress on everyone if you would "dry lot" them for only a couple days and then go right back to pasture. What is a minimum dry lot time period have a good chance of them not crawling through a four strand fence and going down the road to look for Mom?

I'm not sure what you mean by "less stress on everyone" in a dry lot situation, but it would certainly reduce the chances of a jail break if they were drylotted. I believe I would keep them penned for at least a week, and probably 2 just to be safe - I really hate having to round up calves!
 

1982vett

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SRBeef":37p5rh17 said:
Another approach would be to purchased weaned and preconditioned calves. .

Good luck.

Jim

In my situation, even if I were to buy preconditioned calves, I'd probably acclimate them to their new surroundings in pretty much the same way as I wean.
 
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Stocker Steve

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1982vett" I like to put a good calm cow or two in with the heifers. Helps to settle the young ones down and show them the ropes on how things are done. Usually keep the weaned calves in a lot a couple days then out into a larger run-around for about a week. Then they go to a small pasture.[/quote said:
I turned out a calm group to pasture after 5 days in the dry lot. They are still here. :cboy: Had a minor scare but it was the neighbors cattle on the hi way.

I like the sound of a run around. Is this a small grass lot with better fence?
 

1982vett

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Stocker Steve":27ywdqyy said:
1982vett":27ywdqyy said:
I like to put a good calm cow or two in with the heifers. Helps to settle the young ones down and show them the ropes on how things are done. Usually keep the weaned calves in a lot a couple days then out into a larger run-around for about a week. Then they go to a small pasture.

I turned out a calm group to pasture after 5 days in the dry lot. They are still here. :cboy: Had a minor scare but it was the neighbors cattle on the hi way.

I like the sound of a run around. Is this a small grass lot with better fence?

Yep, Cow lot is an iron fence (oilfield pipe and sucker rod). My run-around (trap) is about a half acre 5' fence with 6" post @ 6'6" centers and 3 - 2x6's with cattle panel stapled to it. Then a good barb wire 3 acre grass pasture with an electric fence. After a little time in that they don't pressure many more fences and by then, they are watching to see if I have a sack of goodies to put out instead of heating for the hills.
 
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