Weaning Brangus

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marksmu

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We are about 30 days out from weaning the 20 Brangus pairs we purchased back in April...I have talked to everyone in my area about weaning Brangus calves and everyone tells me something different. The first person tells me I need to move them at least 2 miles away for 10 weeks, second guy says move them 2 pastures over and leave the moms where they are and youll be fine...third guy tells me you cant wean them at all...those mommas are crazy and will get to their calves if you keep them in the same county, and my vet tells me that I should put the calves in the corral for 10 days in the same field as the mommas, feed them out some medicated creep feed, and then after the 10 days move them 2 pastures over....

Whats the deal here? I have got only 2 skittish cows, and the rest will eat from my hand....I am leaning towards the vets recommendation as it would seem to be less stressful for all b/c the mom knows where her calve is and can see her.

Im looking for opinions on this one as it will be my first time to wean.
 

backhoeboogie

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I've got some that wean all on their own. Slightly before time on occasions IMHO.

Get an almanac. Wean when the signs are in the knees. This is first and foremost.

Two fences apart is enough for me. There is a lane down the middle. I usually go three weeks jsut for good measure but a lot of it depends on conditions, my full time job work situations etc.

I run a lot of brangus.
 

farmwriter

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We don't give a medicated feed, but other than that are pretty much in line with what your vet suggests. You know your cows better than other people do. If they aren't insane when you're out there in the pasture close to the calves, it'll probably go fine.
Now, if you haven't done it before, do you have any help lined up? Might think about having a few extra hands on deck to help with gates and what not if you've got some friends with cow sense. Also, in case you haven't done so, you might get your water and troughs set up before hand so you're not having to guard the gates to get it situated afterward.
I'm sure it'll be easier than you anticipate. Best wishes!
 

1982vett

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I wean mine in the cow lot runaround with fresh water and hay. They stay their 4-7 days or so then I move them to good pasture with good fences. They probably aren't going to be interested in much the first day or so and little creep feed (range cubes) each day will get their attention. I use about a pound of range cubes each to start and increase to about 2 pounds when they get used to comming to them. After 2 or 3 weeks I give them cubes maybe every other day, then every 3 days and so on. By this time even the spooky calves should have calmed down. If you are retaining for replacments and they haven't calmed down by this time I'd seriously think about getting rid of it. This is the time for the second culling, the first cull would have been at weaning.
 

alacattleman

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i wean mine in a two acre paddock five strains barb and a hot wire nose high.. fence line weaning... moma is right on the other side ... less stressfull
 
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marksmu

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So based on everyones responses so far, I am thinking that I will start Weaning October 23 (first day the signs are in the knees) and keep them in the corral in the field with the mommas for 7 days - will have it all ready for them before I move them in, and will use hay/cubes to acclimate them to their new all dry matter diet.

After that, I will move them from the pasture they are in, and place them for the remaining 2 weeks into another pasture that is about a half mile down my own road....

That ought to wean them with very little stress....When can I can reintroduce them back into a single herd? After the 3 weeks, or should I wait longer just for good measure?
 

dun

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marksmu":1zptm5it said:
So based on everyones responses so far, I am thinking that I will start Weaning October 23 (first day the signs are in the knees) and keep them in the corral in the field with the mommas for 7 days - will have it all ready for them before I move them in, and will use hay/cubes to acclimate them to their new all dry matter diet.

After that, I will move them from the pasture they are in, and place them for the remaining 2 weeks into another pasture that is about a half mile down my own road....

That ought to wean them with very little stress....When can I can reintroduce them back into a single herd? After the 3 weeks, or should I wait longer just for good measure?
You'll have to wait 6-8 weeks till they can be put back with the cows. Whichever of those is convenient for us is when we reintroduce them.
 

alacattleman

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3 weeks would be too early for me ,they can go right back and try too nurse and restimulate her too milk... my heifers dont go back in the main herd till their breeding age though. when i take them out of the main paddock they go into the feild their momas where on. and the cows are closed off from there the rest of the winter.. the heifers are raised seperate
 

farmwriter

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We keep them separate longer, too.
My other concern based on your response is how you plan to move them 1/2 mile a week after weaning. I'd be willing to bet that'd be a headache on my place.
 

alacattleman

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farmwriter":2c8ham7o said:
We keep them separate longer, too.
My other concern based on your response is how you plan to move them 1/2 mile a week after weaning. I'd be willing to bet that'd be a headache on my place.
the head ache for me would be some one calling in the middle of the night saying theirs calves running loose in the road are they your's?
 

1982vett

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Mark, I try to keep mine separate. I can "pamper" them better that way. Give them the better grazing, better hay, treat them to some cubes every now and then. If I have knee deep grass or oats it wouldn't really matter but I wouldn't want them in a situation where they could breed to early.
 

grubbie

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farmwriter":j1y9mv4u said:
You know your cows better than other people do.
Nothing wrong with seeking advice here, thats what it's here for. But don't ever forget the above statement.
 

brenda

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We wean our Brangus calves in a lot surrounded by pipe, momma is right outside, and can't get to them. Start them on creep feed, 3-4 days they are ok, and eating. We don't integrate them back in the herd, tried it a few times, they always started suckling again. Steers are sold, and replacement heifers go to another pasture.
 
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marksmu

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Thanks for all the inputs, it really does help.

To answer a few...how to move them a half mile? No problem, Our property is only about 4000 ft wide in the front part, and it gets progressively wider until about 2/3 of the way, where it begins to narrow following an irrigation corral...its a little over 4 miles long front front to back, and a little over a mile wide at its widest point..its a total of about 800 acres...Since the hurricane destroyed fences, we put them back where we wanted them...we have fenced in lanes along our roads. Moving calves or cows is pretty easy because of this. (though this time I will load them in the trailer and move them)

I dont have to worry much about them getting into a road much either...we only front one road, and there are 2 fences between the cows and the road...a 5 strand barb wire one around the pasture, and a 4 strand wood on one side bar on the other decorative fence facing the road after the house/barn. The cows never get through the first fence, let alone see the second...it could happen, but it would be rare....its a precaution we took b/c we are only there 2x a week.

New update, which may have to speed up my weaning date....we had a cow who still has a 9.5 month calf at her side give birth yesterday. Luckily we were there (didnt even know she was pregnant) the other calf prevented the new born from getting any milk, so we had to separate the mom and the new bull calf off in our corral...after about an hour the mom let him nurse...checked today. doin fine....since they were all exposed at the same time, there is a good chance a few others may drop calves soon...(they were exposed when we got them). I could not tell this cow was pregnant, and alot of the other 20 cows look much bigger than she did

quick Question though - can you spray a calf and a nursing momma with permethin? I wanted to do something bout the mosquitos, but I was afraid to jeopardize the calves health..

Here is a few pics.

mom and calf
DSC_0056.jpg

DSC_0058.jpg

DSC_0066.jpg
 

hillsdown

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Watch that calf like a hawk, more than likely it did not get adequate nor the good colostrum it needs for it's immunity system.
 
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marksmu

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I was afraid he did not get the colostrum, and while we were getting the rest of the herd into the corral to pull the mom off, we took him around the side of the barn, and gave him store bought colostrum....I know its not as good, but he drank about 26 ounces of it....He would not take anymore, and after that he slept a couple hours till nursing again....The first time I know that he nursed was about 5 hours after birth...Though I did not witness the birth, I think I found him about 3 hours after he was born...There is a chance he nursed before I found him...just dont know how much if at all...
 

hillsdown

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marksmu":3by0jbd7 said:
I was afraid he did not get the colostrum, and while we were getting the rest of the herd into the corral to pull the mom off, we took him around the side of the barn, and gave him store bought colostrum....I know its not as good, but he drank about 26 ounces of it....He would not take anymore, and after that he slept a couple hours till nursing again....The first time I know that he nursed was about 5 hours after birth...Though I did not witness the birth, I think I found him about 3 hours after he was born...There is a chance he nursed before I found him...just dont know how much if at all...


That is perfect and for sure the right thing to do. :)

I would rather use store bought than none anyday, always best to error on the side of caution..
 

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