weaning: How early can I do it?

Help Support CattleToday:

A

Anonymous

I recently bought some calves from the sale barn that were a little smaller than I would have liked. I plan to utilizxe these for roping, not maximizing gain. How early can you wean a bottle calf? I would guess these calves were about 3 weeks old??
 

Ann Bledsoe

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Location
Florida, USA
jkp":1bzu3a7v said:
I recently bought some calves from the sale barn that were a little smaller than I would have liked. I plan to utilizxe these for roping, not maximizing gain. How early can you wean a bottle calf? I would guess these calves were about 3 weeks old??

I start offering a good calf starter when they're just a few days old, placing it into their mouths, if necessary, to get them started on it.
They don't really start eating much until they're 2-3 weeks old. They can be weaned when consuming 2 lbs of starter a day. Some calves hit that point sooner than others. I've weaned calves at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, and 12 weeks.

I milk Jersey cows and raise calves on the excess milk, I have also raised calves on milk replacer when I found a good deal on a calf but didn't have a cow milking.
IMO, the longer they stay on milk, the better -- but it doesn't pay if you're buying milk replacer (or if you have a market for milk).
I've pretty well settled on weaning bulls at 6-8 weeks and weaning heifers that might be used for breeding at 12 weeks.

Overall, the calves raised on milk have been "better doers" than the ones raised on replacer. The replacer-raised calves didn't have any more illness or health problems, they just didn't gain as well.

Ann B
 

Latest posts

Top