Weaning

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cedarview farms

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What type of weaning is easiest and less expensive...traditional weaning, or fenceline weaning? and what type of fence is used for fenceline weaning?
 

dun

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Easiest and noisiest is traditional where you load every calf on the trailer and haul them to the sale barn. The best if you're looking for quality calves that will do well in the feedlot is fenceline weaning. We use a single strand of temp hotwire to fenceline wean and haven;t had any issues. All of our calves are trained to hotwire from birth so that may make a difference
 

c farmer

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We use a single strand of temp hotwire to fenceline wean and haven;t had any issues


Last year when I was seperating calves from the mothers I had one that went through 5 wire high tensile.
 

dun

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c farmer":7666iar1 said:
We use a single strand of temp hotwire to fenceline wean and haven;t had any issues


Last year when I was seperating calves from the mothers I had one that went through 5 wire high tensile.
If you get one that bock headed a 8 foot solid wall would be about all that would work. But as I said, ours are trained to hotwire from birth.
 

grannysoo

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Ours are trained with hotwire from birth too, but the pen we wean in has regular field fencing. It's fenceline weaning, just a different kind of fence.
 

SRBeef

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I use a regular 5 wire barb fence with a very hot electric wire on 5" standoffs at about calf nose height on the calves side. No problems and even minimal noise.

Jim
 

Bonsman

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It is interesting to note how many people use hot wires or barb wire to wean.

As long as I can remember we have weaned our cattle in lots that have steel post, gates, top pipe, and cable wires. Prior to that, we had wooden lots. We weigh and measure all cattle when they first come int the lot to be worked. Then we keep them in the lot for a week or ten days before we let them out into a small weaning pasture with feed bunks and a 5 wire fence. They get alfalfa, oat hay, and 14% creep feed until they go to the weaning pasture attached to the lots. Then they get creep until they have been weaned 45 days after which they are set free in a larger pasture for breedng purposes or to gain a little more weight, or they are sold. Other than the feed ration during weaning process, we have been doing this for four generations.

That is why I like this board. I find out how many different ways there are to do things.
 

farmwriter

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Fenceline weaning here, too. My brother used to rope, so we put all the calves inside the arena, cows in the pasture around it for a few days. When Mama's have lost interest, they go back out to bigger pasture and we turn calves out into a separate patch. It makes for a couple of LOUD nights, but generally is a breeze.
 

spinandslide

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this is interesting how many folks fenceline wean..
a person I know said the only way to wean is to take the calf completly away..if the calf and the cow can see each other, they will go through the fence to get to each other... :???:
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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We also fenceline wean.
Used to always put them in a 4-strand hi-t drylot, and by mistake realized they did so much better if we allowed cows to be able to get right up to the drylot & "talk/visit" with the calves.
If you don't fenceline wean - getting cows completely out of earshot & sight is next best thing.
One of the advantages of fenceline weaning is to keep the calves on grass and not be put into a LOT where they can create a lot of dust. The weaning pasture should be a pasture they have been in before & are familiar where the water source is and know the boundaries.
I'm not brave enough to use 1 strand. All our paddocks are subdivided with 1 strand polywire so calves are very used to what it is. Even so - as hot as we get our fence - I'm possitive a few would slip under the fence. We have 4 strand hi-tensile dividing cows from calves.
Of course, from day-1, we kinda train our calves to go under a single fence, because we put polywire around their "sheds" to keep cows out of area. Calves slip under & get into a non-muddy protected shelter. So, like everything, depends on your management systems.
 

dyates

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I wish I could get fenceline weaning to work. My only success has been with two good fences separated by several miles. I even had one old seasoned cow get out and hoof it down the blacktop to the other farm. She was standing at the gate waiting the next morning. I'm pretty sure she didn't stop and ask for directions, either.
 

dun

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dyates":2fwwlfpy said:
I wish I could get fenceline weaning to work. My only success has been with two good fences separated by several miles. I even had one old seasoned cow get out and hoof it down the blacktop to the other farm. She was standing at the gate waiting the next morning. I'm pretty sure she didn't stop and ask for directions, either.
I shushed a neighbors cow home yesterday morning. She was hot fotting it down the road to where the calves that had just been weaned were. 2 1/2 miles and several turns but she found them anyway. I got her back in and a couple of hours later she was back by the calves.
 

SRBeef

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Bonsman":e6fx7p2g said:
It is interesting to note how many people use hot wires or barb wire to wean.

As long as I can remember we have weaned our cattle in lots that have steel post, gates, top pipe, and cable wires. Prior to that, we had wooden lots. We weigh and measure all cattle when they first come int the lot to be worked. Then we keep them in the lot for a week or ten days before we let them out into a small weaning pasture with feed bunks and a 5 wire fence. They get alfalfa, oat hay, and 14% creep feed until they go to the weaning pasture attached to the lots. Then they get creep until they have been weaned 45 days after which they are set free in a larger pasture for breedng purposes or to gain a little more weight, or they are sold. Other than the feed ration during weaning process, we have been doing this for four generations.

That is why I like this board. I find out how many different ways there are to do things.

Last Nov 1 my vet and I worked the whole herd, did preg check on the cows and heifers then just let the cows, yearlings and bull back to the cornstalks they had been grazing and diverted the calves to the other side of the fence and we were done with weaning.

I think the key is to let them get right up close to each other and see each other but just not be in the same pasture. I'll try to add a picture. The first day or so there were lots of meetings along the fence like in the photo and some contact near the waterer as shown but overall not stressful on either. In fact I want to wean a couple weeks earlier this fall since I think the calves pull the cows down too much at this point.

There was very little bellowing and after a couple days both sides just went about their business of eating. They could still see each other and even touch each other at the gate. Frankly I think the cows were soon relieved.

There were times when they would be laying down next to each other on the opposite sides of the barb wire lane fence shown on the left. The hot wire in the blue standoffs on the calves side was very hot.

They are all in familiar surroundings, even share opposite sides of the same waterer, just can't nurse. Jim

IMG_3182_Fenceline_Weaning_Meeting.JPG


IMG_3190_1.JPG
 

ScottyB

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We fenceline wean as well. We use 5 ft. hogwire with one strand of barbwire up top. Have never had one get out or cross or anything.
We use this pasture as a holding pen as well and have had newly purchased calfs really tests this fence, but only one has escaped into a different pasture, and that was through a space in the gate, our mistake.
 

Roadapple

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I use the Quiet Weaners and leave 'em together and yes 1 or 2 learn to turn their head sideways and nurse, but when split up it's easier listening to 2 than a 100.
 

dun

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I wonder if the problems with calves being returned to the same pasture as the cows has anything to do with the weaning method. Surely there is a study on that somewhere!
 

BARNSCOOP

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We fence line wean also. We have five strands of high tensel hot wire in which the top, middle, and bottom are hot. It works great for us. I will say I have tried the green weaner with spikes on the end ,that Kernsie told me about, and they WORK! They can't get there nose turned anyway that it won't stick mom and move her out! So, that is a great option.

Studies that were done by the University of Tennessee showed that calves were less stressed, lost less weight, and got sick less often if fenceline weaned and even better if weaners where used. We were told to put feed bunks, creep feeders,or hay along the fenceline to distract them also.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Dun - that would be interesting. I KNOW my calves (or many of them) would go right back to sucking after 60 days - and we fenceline like you. Don't know how you get away with it. Ours stay seperated til they are bred.
 

SRBeef

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":14vycikx said:
Dun - that would be interesting. I KNOW my calves (or many of them) would go right back to sucking after 60 days - and we fenceline like you. Don't know how you get away with it. Ours stay seperated til they are bred.

Don't your cows go dry in 60 days? Last fall was my first year of fenceline weaning and had to put the cows back in 60 days. Had no problems. I returned the cows to the calves pasture rather than the other way around.

I saw one heifer calf try to suck and the cow would have no part of it. Other than that no problems. I kept plenty of good hay in front of the calves with occasional/weekly grain. They were not hungry.

Jim
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Being HUNGRY isn't the issue - it's instinct. And even if the cow is dry, if the cow allows the calf to suck - it is definately not good for her udder & she can come back into milk production.
Just like a heifer sucking another heifer & getting her to come into milk - or create mastitis.
But, in our management, we wouldn't ever put the calves in with the cows because we keep seperate feed groups - replacement heifers - bred 1st & 2nd calf females & mature cows - for winter feeding.
 

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