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Weaning heifers

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Anonymous

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We are keeping the heifer calves to increase our breeding herd. We want to get the calves off their mommas at an appropriate time (6 months) so the cows can start getting into shape for the next calf. How long do you have to separate the weaned heifer from her momma before we can bring them back together. Second question: Do we have to send the calves to a distant pasture or can we put them in an adjacent pasture?
 
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Anonymous

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We usually only seperate them for about 6-8 weeks. The adjacent pasture is our prefered method. It's been referred to as "fenceline weaning". Our cows and calves are used to electric fence, there is a fancy term for it but it's still electric fence. We seperate out the calves and run them into a pasture with a hot wire (electric fence) that keeps them from getting to mom and vice versa. They don;t seem to beller and carry on as much, they stay on there feed and aren't stressed near as much. Make sure the heifers have the best pasture, the cows going dry don't need near the nutrition that the calves do. We put out a bale of good grass/alfalfa to insure they can get the best groceries. The graze most of the time and just pick at the hay, but it makes me feel better knowing that it's there if the need it.

dunmovin farms

> We are keeping the heifer calves
> to increase our breeding herd. We
> want to get the calves off their
> mommas at an appropriate time (6
> months) so the cows can start
> getting into shape for the next
> calf. How long do you have to
> separate the weaned heifer from
> her momma before we can bring them
> back together. Second question: Do
> we have to send the calves to a
> distant pasture or can we put them
> in an adjacent pasture?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree with the fenceline weaning method - although I would not try it with just 1 strand of electric fence. My cattle are broke to 1 strand fencing for sub-dividing my pastures, but it will not keep a calf from it's mom for long. We use 4 strands of Hi-Tensile electric fencing. Also, I have never had 100% luck with only weaning for 8 weeks. Some calves will go right back & start sucking. The cow may be dry, but they suck anyway, and it can be a major problem when the Mom gets ready to bag up for her next calf. For nutritional reasons alone, the heifer calves should be kept seperate from the main cow herd and fed a higher level of nutrition. Universities recommend keeping several groups of cattle during the winter. Open weaned replacement heifers; bred yearlings and two-year old and thin/old cows, and the mature cow herd. All three of these groups require different management if you are wanting the best calving/breeding condition come spring. Jeanne

Simme Valley in NY
[email protected]
 
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Anonymous

Guest
We've never had a problem with a single strand of poli-wire. Most of them won't even cross the wire if it's laying on the ground and not charged. I agree that the optimum may be multiple herds but for some cases, (ours for instance) it's not practicle. If we have some bred heaifers that need a little extra we run them with the calves we're weaning , that also seems to help keep the calves a little calmer. But, as has been said before, each place has it's own unique managment problems, what works for us may not work for Joe Schwartz down the road.

dunmovin farms

> I agree with the fenceline weaning
> method - although I would not try
> it with just 1 strand of electric
> fence. My cattle are broke to 1
> strand fencing for sub-dividing my
> pastures, but it will not keep a
> calf from it's mom for long. We
> use 4 strands of Hi-Tensile
> electric fencing. Also, I have
> never had 100% luck with only
> weaning for 8 weeks. Some calves
> will go right back & start
> sucking. The cow may be dry, but
> they suck anyway, and it can be a
> major problem when the Mom gets
> ready to bag up for her next calf.
> For nutritional reasons alone, the
> heifer calves should be kept
> seperate from the main cow herd
> and fed a higher level of
> nutrition. Universities recommend
> keeping several groups of cattle
> during the winter. Open weaned
> replacement heifers; bred
> yearlings and two-year old and
> thin/old cows, and the mature cow
> herd. All three of these groups
> require different management if
> you are wanting the best
> calving/breeding condition come
> spring. Jeanne
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
We've had them go through good barbed wire fences to get back with their mothers if they were on the same fenceline. So we keep them in a corral for a week to ten days. If the cows are not on the same fenceline we'll put them out in the pasture after a week. The heifers don't go back in with their mothers until they're yearlings, sometimes not until they're bred. So they're separated for at least five or six months.

> We are keeping the heifer calves
> to increase our breeding herd. We
> want to get the calves off their
> mommas at an appropriate time (6
> months) so the cows can start
> getting into shape for the next
> calf. How long do you have to
> separate the weaned heifer from
> her momma before we can bring them
> back together. Second question: Do
> we have to send the calves to a
> distant pasture or can we put them
> in an adjacent pasture?

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
> We are keeping the heifer calves
> to increase our breeding herd. We
> want to get the calves off their
> mommas at an appropriate time (6
> months) so the cows can start
> getting into shape for the next
> calf. How long do you have to
> separate the weaned heifer from
> her momma before we can bring them
> back together. Second question: Do
> we have to send the calves to a
> distant pasture or can we put them
> in an adjacent pasture? In response to weaning calves...The University of Calif at Davis conducted a 3 year study on alternative weaning methods. The objective was to determine if fenceline contact of beef calves & dams at weaning would reduce the distress experience by calves and negative effects of separation on behavior & growth..In brief the findings showed fenceline-contact calves showed few behavioral signs of distress and 31% greater growth rate as opposed to the totally separated cows and calves...this study is probably available in detail on the website at UCDavis, Ed Price, Dept of Animal Science....

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Anonymous

Guest
I've had good luck keeping my calves in my pens with hay and water for 3 weeks. The momma cow can come up to the pens when she wants and usually dries up in those 3 weeks.
 
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