Weaning management

What do we need to consider at weaning?

There is no firm or fixed rule about which weaning style is appropriate …whatever suits the needs of your production system.                                                                                                            Managing Weaning Fact Sheet

However, there are certain trade-offs with each weaning style.  You need to consider:

* Calf (and dam) stress to ensure minimal disruption to calf growth and wellbeing.

* Feed supply to ensure adequate nutrition.              Calf growth and weaning

* Condition gain in hinds to maintain a consistent calving date and conception rate.                                                         Conception and weaning

* Calf health treatments such as anthelmintics and vaccinations.

Some targets to consider

Aims for the best possible results

* Less than 1% death rate

* No reduction in potential post weaning growth rate

Some triggers for management

When making your decisions about when and how to wean consider the following factors

* Hind BCS early March – low condition will make conception even later

* Calf weight early March – high weights makes weaning easy

* Feed availability and quality – weaning increase control of the feed supply

* Introduction of supplements or specialist forages – should be introduced before weaning for maximum effect


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