weaning age

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D.R. Cattle

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I've always weaned at around 7 months, but my cows are doing outstanding and think they could handle another month or two. As it stands I've got a few cows scattered out and have 2 breeding seasons six months apart. So weaning at 7 months forces me to handle the cattle more than I would if I weaned a little older. I pen them every six months for vaccinations, worming, etc, and turn my bulls in at the same time. Weaning later would allow handling only twice instead of four times. I've never experimented the BCS of a cow trying to calve after weaning a 9 month calf. Thoughts?
 

Jake

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The majority of our spring calving cows calve in april and may so they wean 5or 6 month old calves. But there are those that calve late out of the fall bunch, such as December or January. These calves and the fall calves head to grass and are between 9-10 months old when weaned depending on the pasture they are sent to, but the cows start to wean at that time and calf again at similiar or earlier times.
 

Jake

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Don't have problems with weaning them by that time they are eating more of the green grass than sucking. Our fall calves are on creep feed and greed brohm pasture until weaned then the cows have the summer off on the blue stem and the calves head to the lot. The calves are easier to take at that time because the cows have a majority of them weaned already so the don't lose so much weight in transition of food substance. I'm not lazy it's just pretty hard to get alot of stuff don't when you have sports and you don't get home at night til 7 and the weekends is the only time you have to seriously work.
 

PATB

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I think when you wean is generally dictated by markets or forage availability. When forage gets short it is easier to wean calves and let mama's survive on the lower quality or remaining forage without extra feed.

pat
 

sam

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we wean at 7 months, that gives the cow time to rest, put a little weight back on and get back on her feet good before the next calf
 

dun

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We calve the last few days of Feb, March and occasionally into early April. e wean the first week of October. Calves go on a preconditioning regimin then are shipped mid to late Nov. to the backgrounder. They'e comingled with other producers then sold and shipped in early Jan. When the calves are shipped the heifers that will be retained are turned back in with the cow herd. We start breeding late May and are finished by July (usually). Heifers are bred in the order the come into heat during that time frame and calve mixed with the cows.

dun
 

dun

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The only late weaned calf we've had was a pair we bought last sring . The calf was born in January. We weaned her right along with everybody else. We've found that by the time the calf is 6-7 months old they are really pretty much weaned and nurse moer from habit then nurishment. When we wean the calves aren't bothered more then a day or so. The cows raise cane for a few days more.

dun


D.R. Cattle":1nnszk9c said:
Dun...have you had previous experience with extended weaning times?
 

BLACKPOWER

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D.R. Cattle":3qxhcu7n said:
I've always weaned at around 7 months, but my cows are doing outstanding and think they could handle another month or two. As it stands I've got a few cows scattered out and have 2 breeding seasons six months apart. So weaning at 7 months forces me to handle the cattle more than I would if I weaned a little older. I pen them every six months for vaccinations, worming, etc, and turn my bulls in at the same time. Weaning later would allow handling only twice instead of four times. I've never experimented the BCS of a cow trying to calve after weaning a 9 month calf. Thoughts?

There is no reason to keep a calf on a cow for 9 months. He will gain more if you wean at six months and feed him than he will nursing for 9 months. Besides she's not gonna be giving much milk at 8 and 9 months to justify keeping the calf on her. Your bringing her down and holding the calf back. To make up for her condition you'll pay for it in additional feed tryin to get her back in condition. You might not realize what your doing to the cow right now but you will realize it down the road with decreased milk production and lower conception rates.
 
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D.R. Cattle

D.R. Cattle

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Thanks for the replies. Our area offers some significant luxuries in the feeding portion mentioned by most of you. We don't have to. No feed, no hay 12 months per year. I get by real well with just liquid supplemets during the Winter. Retaining a calf longer requires zero input. On the other hand, condition scores and decreased conception are legitimate concerns regardless of location. I was able to find a study done on specifically this by U of F Range Cattle Research Center, but real cattlemen in this for profit offer more than scientists. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AN048
 

TDR

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You might want to take a look at the book "The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising". Agree or disagree, he has some interesting views on when to wean, vaccination program, etc..
 
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D.R. Cattle

D.R. Cattle

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I see that the book was written by Lassater Ranch and published in 1972. I am having dificulty locating the book. Even so, surely the philosophies in 1972 could be very different than those of 2004?
 

Running Arrow Bill

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sam":1ybbdvg1 said:
we wean at 7 months, that gives the cow time to rest, put a little weight back on and get back on her feet good before the next calf

Ditto...we also wean at 6 to 7 months. Weaning a calf at 9 months is like having a 30 year old teenager still living at home...

Mom and dad need a REST...human or bovine
 
A

Anonymous

You need to be careful how long you leave your calves on the cows especially if the bull still runs in the herd because my neighbor had that problem and had a 7 month old heifer bred. The heifer calved....dead calf but he was able to save the heifer. Just need to be careful.
 

cherokeeruby

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Great article, very informative. Would have been nice if they had run a comparison of pure english vs F-1. Wonder how much the F-1 influenced the results.

D.R. Cattle":19s7ai4p said:
Thanks for the replies. Our area offers some significant luxuries in the feeding portion mentioned by most of you. We don't have to. No feed, no hay 12 months per year. I get by real well with just liquid supplemets during the Winter. Retaining a calf longer requires zero input. On the other hand, condition scores and decreased conception are legitimate concerns regardless of location. I was able to find a study done on specifically this by U of F Range Cattle Research Center, but real cattlemen in this for profit offer more than scientists. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AN048
 

txag

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SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE":18n7gl7d said:
I have seen reports that early weaning is better, maybe even as early as 4 - 5 months :cboy:

can you elaborate? i would think if you're weaning your calves that young, you're not fully utilizing your cows.
 
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