Stress Less Weaning

When weaning calves do you consider stress? Stress is probably the main cause of any sickness arising from weaning. Consider the gathering and sorting and running them through a chute, poking them with a needle, and then putting them in an unfamiliar place, feeding them strange food in an unfamiliar bunk. Think about that? If you were a calf would you be stressed? Fence line weaning on grass is a proven concept, but doing it properly takes more than just putting calves behind a fence. The whole method should be called into question.  We need to work cattle on their terms, not ours. Cattle don’t care how fast you want to do something. They don’t care if you want to do something in a certain man decided way. That is not how their brain works. Begin with rethinking the gathering to bring them to the pens. What are a cow and her calf’s morning routine? About daylight the cow begins grazing and allows the calf to suck. Maybe not all at once, but as she grazes. After the calf has its fill of milk it also starts grazing. This goes on for two or three hours at least before they head to water. What if you are out there soon after daylight and driving them to a pen? Both are disrupted in their normal day. The cow hasn’t got her fill and much worse, the calf has an empty belly. As soon as you get them to the pens sorting begins. If there is some hollering and chasing, slamming of gates, this also is stressful. Then into a crowding pen and pushed through a squeeze chute and v

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »