How to help calf give up sucking milk

The place to start if you are new!
devarainjan
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:28 pm

How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by devarainjan » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:34 pm

Hi, i am new here. I am so glad to find the site. I have a question. I have 2 calves, pretty nice more than 5 months but they still want to suck milk from the mother dispite i already separate them by giving water for already 2 months. please help.



User avatar
Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 11442
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:46 am
Location: Central Upstate New York
Has thanked: 754 times
Been thanked: 1049 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:59 pm

:welcome:
A calf will continue to nurse the dam for as long as they are together. Well, "might" quit sometime, but I've heard of cows nursing last years calf and calving with a new one.
Anyway, most producers separate them. You must have a secure place to put the calf. They will do about anything to get out. I never let my weaned calves get back with mom until the calf is grown and bred. You can separate them for months and the calf may go back to nursing. Not likely, but a chance, so I wean in September and they never get together until about April the following year.
There are also weaning flaps - here is a link to several different types:
https://www.google.com/search?q=cattle+ ... e&ie=UTF-8
They are designed to be put in while they are with their dam. They get to socialize with dam, but unable to suck. Then you can easily separate them without as much stress on the calf. They are NOT designed to be put in indefinitely.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."

76 Bar
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:17 pm
Location: South Western Oregon
Has thanked: 353 times
Been thanked: 264 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by 76 Bar » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:39 pm

Heed Jeanne's advice. I understand that it may be difficult to accomplish but its imperative for successful weaning that the dams and calves are ultimately not in close proximity of each other as Jeanne pointed out.

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2861
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 296 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by farmerjan » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:36 pm

Calves will suck as long as the cow will let them like Jeanne said. You have to completely separate them and I also do not put my heifers that I keep, back in with the cows until they have their own calf so at least 1- 2 years separation. Most of the calves on our beef cows are weaned off the cows at 6-9 months, all according to what we are planning to do with them, or where they are pastured etc.. But the cow needs that 2 months "dry period", a break from the current calf, if she is bred back and it is essential so that the cow can dry up and her body can produce good colostrum for the new calf when it is born.

If your calves are drinking water and eating good, then separate them and that is it.

User avatar
bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1819
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Navarro County, Texas
Has thanked: 210 times
Been thanked: 261 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by bird dog » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:47 am

Kind of what Jan is implying here is that 5 months is not that long on a cow. The calf will gain much better on mom than not so leave them on there a while longer. Seven months is a good age to wean IMO but mine are from 6 to 8 months because I want to do a bunch at one time.

DCA farm
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:45 am
Location: beauregard Parish Louisiana
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by DCA farm » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:52 pm

I’ve seen a previous year heifer just about kill a new baby over mommas milk gotta separate and leave them separate. And depending on the breed that’s a hard thing to do I tried to separate some nice f1 heifers last year to keep ended up selling them due to being tired of fixing fence ever 1-2 days if they couldn’t go through it they would jump it to get back with their mommas

User avatar
Hippie Rancher
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1706
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:38 pm
Location: Arizona
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 95 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by Hippie Rancher » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:16 pm

another trait I am interested in selecting for, good momma til weaning time, then she does the job like how nature works.

User avatar
bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1819
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Navarro County, Texas
Has thanked: 210 times
Been thanked: 261 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by bird dog » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:09 pm

So Hippie you are wanting the cows to wean their calves when its time?

If so this is not a very good idea. It may have worked in nature where there was no choice but you're asking for a lot of problems with cows that won't follow your requests. Even if they do its detrimental to the next calf if the existing calf stays on to long and drags the cow down to a low body score.

M.Magis
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1833
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ohio
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by M.Magis » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:11 pm

In nature, only the strongest survive. I can’t afford that management style.

User avatar
Hippie Rancher
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1706
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:38 pm
Location: Arizona
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 95 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by Hippie Rancher » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:33 pm

bird dog wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:09 pm
So Hippie you are wanting the cows to wean their calves when its time?

If so this is not a very good idea. It may have worked in nature where there was no choice but you're asking for a lot of problems with cows that won't follow your requests. Even if they do its detrimental to the next calf if the existing calf stays on to long and drags the cow down to a low body score.
if they are selected to wean at the right time and on their own, there is no detriment. it is the ones that won't wean that need to be selected against. now, I am not suggesting anybody focus 100% on it and it isn't for everyone, but for people that are trying to do land management and run single herds, it is a trait that can be looked at. I have cows that wean on their own and have some that will let a heifer back on as a freaking two year old. that gets noted and filed for future decisions like anything else.

M.Magis
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1833
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ohio
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by M.Magis » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:21 am

LOL
Your cows don't have a calendar. At best, you'll end up with stunted and/or sickly calves because of the older calf (yearling) stealing colostrum. I've been there, it won't happen again.

User avatar
bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1819
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Navarro County, Texas
Has thanked: 210 times
Been thanked: 261 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by bird dog » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:08 am

Well I think you will be culling more than your keeping but what do I know, I usually don't go against the grain on the ways of proven herd management.

I would think a cow might do it one year but not the next. At what age is the calf when your "selected" cows wean their calf?

User avatar
Hippie Rancher
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1706
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:38 pm
Location: Arizona
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 95 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by Hippie Rancher » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:24 pm

bird dog wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:08 am
Well I think you will be culling more than your keeping but what do I know, I usually don't go against the grain on the ways of proven herd management.

I would think a cow might do it one year but not the next. At what age is the calf when your "selected" cows wean their calf?

I would say around 7 months. take a minute to think about numbers. say you are retaining 10 to 25% of your heifers. in any given year you are only going to see those pairs after weaning/shipping. how long does anybody normally keep them separated? some of those cows are about done and will kick the calf off on their own. those might be noted to be keepers if other things are also desirable traits too. likewise a cow that won't ever wean her calf even if they were separated for a while - she might be shortlisted to cull especially if she has other faults. it doesn't have to be something to totally focus on 100% to the exclusion of everything else.

User avatar
Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 11442
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:46 am
Location: Central Upstate New York
Has thanked: 754 times
Been thanked: 1049 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:22 pm

Hmmm - I posted on here but it's gone!
Anyway, I would have to cull all my cows. I wean at 6-8 months old, all at the same time. I have never had a cow just walk away, be happy with that.
BTW - OP never came back - one and done.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2861
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 296 times

Re: How to help calf give up sucking milk

Post by farmerjan » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:16 pm

Seems that we waste an awful lot of time on one and done' s, anymore.

Post Reply