Early weaning

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Jan 25, 2004
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Hi, I have some calves that are currently between 3-4 months old. The feed is not great and I have started feeding out as I have notice one or 2 of the cows showing a rib or more than normal. Would I be better off weaning them now, or is it best to hang on a month or 2 longer, with extra feed.

Also, what are the recommended and kindest weaning methods (next door paddock etc).

Thank you.
Jane I don't know where your located and how much more winter your looking to endure. Pull the calves and sell them feeding out of a sack is like a second mortagge on your house. I have had great success with liquid feed and good hay . My cows winter great. If you happen to live in the East Texas area I can put you in touch with my supplier. Cost are .07 to .09 cents per head per day. If your intent on keeping this crop of calves put a least two fences or hot wire between the cow and calves
Thank you Campgound Cattle, that is a kind offer - however, I am a wee bit far away......I'm in NZ so am just coming out of summer and looking twds winter!! We are getting a bit of feed growing now - but where I am we are usually summer dry.

THanks for your help.
if you are out of pasture then weaning early is an option. when there is a drought or something. it would be cheaper to feed the cows a little and let them raise the calves. for another 3 months. if you wean you will have to feed the calves anyway and mom will do a much better job. there is no easy way to wean it is stressful on the cows and calves, joining fences is suppose to be the best, but, i wean mine away because that is easier for me about 48 hours and they get settled down. out of sight out of mind.
Thank for your advice jcarkie - makes good sense.

Campground Cattle it's good to hear that you have some NZ bloodlines! I have a Hereford bull who has a Braxton great-grand father.

I have just about made up my mind to wean at a later time 5-6 mos. Though one of my cows (a big Simmental, first calver) is looking a bit ribby and I can also see her backbone,which has worried me. She has one of the best and biggest calves too, but I don't want to run her down so that was part of the reason I asked about the early weaning. Most of the other cows seem to be doing ok. I have been supplementing with baleage and with recent rains grass is coming away nicely now - so hopefully we can pull through.

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