Weaning question

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NonTypicalCPA

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I searched without finding an answer to my question. I'm fenceline weaning two calves right now that have been separated from mom for 5 weeks. If I put them back together in another few weeks and the calf tries to nurse, shouldn't the cow be dried up? Or does the cow come back into milk if a calf tries to nurse?
 

turklilley

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The cow will be dried up, but continued sucking will bring her back to milk. After 6 weeks the calves will forget about nursing.
 

TCRanch

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They don't always forget about nursing! I would be hesitant to put them back with their mamas unless that's your only option. Nose flaps would be a temporary fix if they resume nursing. Your other option is to put them on the trailer.
 

farmerjan

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If you are weaning them because the cows are bred and need the rest, and you put the calves back and they do go back to trying to nurse, the cow can and often will come back into milk. Then you also are jeopardizing the unborn calf's colostrum. Many cows will kick the snot out of a calf if it tries to go back to nursing, but many won't. And once she gets close to calving, and udders up, even if the calf didn't go back to nursing, it very well might do so at that point and again, the new calf will pay the price. Keep 'em separate, feed the heifers the way they should get fed to grow properly, and don't reintroduce them in together until they have calves of their own.
 
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NonTypicalCPA

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That was what I was wondering, can sucking bring the cow back into milk. These heifers will hopefully go to new homes this spring and there is really no reason to put them back with the others except for convenience. However I did see one of them trying to suck on a bred heifer that is a month or so away from calving. She tolerated it for a minute or two then turned around and butted her into the next county, lol, so hopefully she learned her lesson.
 

farmerjan

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Watch very closely for the one sucking on a bred heifer. It will ruin her udder quicker than you can believe. Test at a dairy that had 6 heifers come in with only 2 or 3 good quarters. Turns out they caught another heifer that had calved, that had been in that group, go to sucking on a couple of the cows in the holding pen waiting to come in the parlour to be milked. She has a permanent nose flap but if she was mine her throat would have been cut or she would have made a beeline for the Mcdonalds plant. She ruined the udders on 6 dairy heifers by sucking the quarters when they were in the pasture.
That one tolerating for even a minute or two can be the start of a problem as it will cause her to like it more as she udders up, and will steal the colostrum at best, or cause mastitis even before the other heifer calves. If you are going to keep her with any other female, put a nose flap in her or ship her now. Don't let her ruin a good heifer that you could sell.
 

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