How long to wean calves?

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sstterry
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How long to wean calves?

Postby sstterry » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:13 pm

I have always heard that you should wean calves for 45 days before returning them to the pasture with their dams. Are 45 days long enough or should I keep them separate for 60 days?
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby turklilley » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:49 pm

I've never had trouble with 45-50 days. The cow has dried up, if they try to suck a little and don't get anything they forget about it.
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby Coosh71 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:33 pm

Topically that's true.. but there's always one it seems. Lol
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby ez14. » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:43 pm

Some cows don't need that long. I seen a calf get back with her dam after only 2 weeks. The calf went straight for a teat, got kicked in the face and rammed to the ground and never tried it again
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby sstterry » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:52 am

ez14. wrote:Some cows don't need that long. I seen a calf get back with her dam after only 2 weeks. The calf went straight for a teat, got kicked in the face and rammed to the ground and never tried it again

Sounds like my mother :shock:
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby gcreekrch » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:30 pm

Once weaned, they stay weaned here and with their contemporary group until they wean their first calves. We still end up with suckers...…….. Drive us nuts watching a grown animal trying to steal from another. We left weaning blabs on 3 of them this summer.
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby farmerjan » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:19 am

We do not normally allow anything weaned to go back with the mature cows. They stay with their age group, separate pastures, fed a little better for growing needs. Then after they have calved, decisions are made as to who goes to what pasture/which bull. I particularly have to watch the calves I raise on nurse cows, as they will try to steal off another cow. Had one this year that went back on a cow that was supposed to be dry. We were shuffling around cattle and so this group of 10 weaned calves got put back with the DRY nurse cows. Been weaned nearly 90 days. She started sucking on a dried off nurse cow and they all got moved out again, to go to the barn facilities for bangs vacc and a few dehorns. The cow calved back in with very little udder and is only raising 1 calf this time. I am hoping that she will do okay and when bred back, then dried off, will come back next time and be able to raise several. She has a great disposition as a nurse cow, raised 7 her first lactation. That weaned heifer was not one of her original calves, but off another nurse cow. If she gives me any more trouble, she will go even though she is a nice heifer.
I feel the weaned calves need to be fed differently so they get their own field/lot in which to get a chance to eat and grow as they should. The older cows don't need the grain etc even though they think they are entitled to it!!!
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby boondocks » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:13 am

My reply vanished. ???
Anyway, we put wean flaps on for 2 weeks, then separate calves from mamas for about a month; reunite them just before Christmas. (We can't practically run 2 herds all winter. The electric bill for one tank heater can hit $150/mo; surely don't need to pay for two, for a small herd).
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby Nesikep » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:02 am

I find the calves that learned to steal milk when young are the most likely offenders to be difficult to wean.. I'd have kept my orphan for a butcher steer but didn't because of that.. he had 4 mommas because he was persistent, sure growed up nice!

Boondocks, our electric waterer is in a corner so 3 different corrals can have access to it.. any chance you can set something up like that?
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby Supa Dexta » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:57 am

The heck I'd pay 150/mo for some cows to have warm water when there are so many other options out there.
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:39 am

Supa Dexta wrote:The heck I'd pay 150/mo for some cows to have warm water when there are so many other options out there.

No, unless you plan on having a constant flow of water.
I'm sure my water heaters do not increase my electric bill enough for me to notice. My electric bill runs about $100/mo more in winter than in summer. I have 4 under-water heaters, and two "donut" heaters for the automatic waterers. Plus in winter there are more lights on daily, motor on my furnace, etc.
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Re: How long to wean calves?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:41 am

On the weaning issue - this has been discussed numerous times. No one agrees. It may have something to do with the milking ability of the breeds being used.
My calves never see their dam again until the calf is bred and all cattle are turned out on grass. 30 days, 60 days, ?? IMO you are going to get that occasional calf that sucks. Not worth it to me.
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