Weaning just one calf

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drock15l
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Weaning just one calf

Postby drock15l » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:16 am

I just bought a couple pairs of lowlines. One calf is 5 months the other is 3 months. What are the feed requirements at weaning? These are grass fed animals never had grain but I'm not against that. So what would you recommend? The 5 month old is a heifer that I will keep, the other is a steer I will feed out. At this point I don't want to pump a ton of feed or grain in them but I also want them healthy. I just would like some economical options that won't break the bank. I'm only raising these for my own consumption not to sell. What are my options. Thanks
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dun
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby dun » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:20 am

If the heifers momma isn;t bred I would just wait a while to wean them at the same time.
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drock15l
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby drock15l » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:34 am

I've thought about that. The heifers momma isn't confirmed but was seen being bred.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Son of Butch » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:55 pm

I assume no bull? IF so then mommas are either pg or not and waiting to wean together doesn't matter too much.
What is the plan if bull's momma has not been bred?

Perhaps you can creep feed the calves in a corner of your pasture with hot wire high enough for calves to go under, but not the cows. If calves are use to eating and drinking on their own it will help reduce their stress when you do wean if they are at least a little bit bunk broke before weaning.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby drock15l » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:06 pm

No I will have no bull, the owner told me today that the bulls mamma was seen with the bull glued to her today. I guess my biggest concern is feed, just trying to figure out how much is enough. I don't want to be buying feed all the time. They are coming from a grass fed operation and never gives grain to weaned calves. I would like to add a little grain for them to help through the winter but don't want them on full feed if that makes sense
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby HDRider » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Maybe TB will jump in here.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:15 pm

dun wrote:If the heifers momma isn;t bred I would just wait a while to wean them at the same time.


Same here. I would wait. She will wean a lot better with company.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Cucumber35 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:58 pm

I'd wait too. No reason a good cow can't take her to 7-8 months before weaning. Then the steer will be 5-6 months and you can wean them together. And you won't have to buy as much feed. Although to keep the cows in milk that long you may need to supplement them some depending on grass quality. Might not hurt to throw a little grain to them occasionally and maybe the calves will figure it out too.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Rafter S » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:52 pm

I wean at 8-9 months routinely, with no extra feed, so I'd definitely recommend weaning both calves when the oldest is ready.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:00 am

drock15l wrote:..... the owner told me today that the bulls mamma was seen with the bull glued to her today.
They are coming from a grass fed operation and never gives grain to weaned calves.
I would like to add a little grain for them to help through the winter but don't want them on full feed if that makes sense

Seems you have not yet taken possession of the cattle, if possible leave them with the bull another 21 days.
Yes, supplementing the calves this winter with a little grain makes sense.
Talk with the owner about how they do it. They know what resources are available in your area and what your winters are like. From what little you have shared, for all I know you could be located anywhere from Alaska to Zimbabwe.
In any event it appears finding a local mentor would be beneficial.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby 1982vett » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:27 am

Rafter S wrote:I wean at 8-9 months routinely, with no extra feed, so I'd definitely recommend weaning both calves when the oldest is ready.

This..... Also in general, I'll wean the heifer calves around 7-8 months and bull calves at 6 months, but that my program.

I've been buying 4-5 month bred cows that need a little better care than they were getting. Gives me 4-5 months weight gain and hopefully a good calf. Mama going to feed that heifer calf cheaper and better than a bucket will.
Last edited by 1982vett on Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby 1982vett » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:29 am

Son of Butch wrote:
drock15l wrote:..... the owner told me today that the bulls mamma was seen with the bull glued to her today.
They are coming from a grass fed operation and never gives grain to weaned calves.
I would like to add a little grain for them to help through the winter but don't want them on full feed if that makes sense

Seems you have not yet taken possession of the cattle, if possible leave them with the bull another 21 days.
Yes, supplementing the calves this winter with a little grain makes sense.
Talk with the owner about how they do it. They know what resources are available in your area and what your winters are like. From what little you have shared, for all I know you could be located anywhere from Alaska to Zimbabwe.
In any event it appears finding a local mentor would be beneficial.


Ain't that the truth.....it's one thing to be private, another when your asking questions and want some feedback information.
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drock15l
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby drock15l » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:00 pm

I'm from Nebraska and they are coming from northern Nebraska. They will be arriving at my place this weekend so the option of leaving with the bull is out. I've stretched it as long as I could. I'm here to learn so please ask me what questions I should be asking.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Brute 23 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Just keep in mind cattle are herd animals. In general they will be more comfortable in groups. There are certain cattle you do not want to separate from the herd. They can freak out and become very hard to handle.
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Re: Weaning just one calf

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:42 pm

I agree with everyone. Leave them on for at least 1 month more. Bull will be 4 months old. You can feed them grain at 1% of their body weight. They will need about a 14-15% protein feed. You can buy a complete ration - or you can mix some feed. I feed whole shell corn (9% protein) and add some protein pellets to up the ration to about 14-15% . WSC is the cheapest grain you can get. You can feed as little or as much (up to 3% of their body weight) grain, depending on what quality hay you have. In order to feed cattle properly, you have to learn what a calf/cow should look like as far as body condition.
The first link gives really good pictures to help.
http://www.cowbcs.info/photogallery.html
https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/400/400-795/400-795.html
Next, you need to learn to watch their manure. The consistency of the manure tells you a lot about their stomach. The higher the protein in their diet, the looser their manure will be.
Cow on lush spring grass will have green, very loose manure - almost watery.
Cow on July/August cut hay will have hard turds.
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