Beef Buzz News
A Winning Weaning Strategy- Courtesy of OSU's Glenn Selk
Sun, 23 Jun 2013 18:38:16 CDT
Cattle producers weaning fall-born calves in mid to late June may want to employ fence-line weaning as a strategy to help reduce stress on the young animals.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Glenn Selk about Fenceline Weaning
“Solid data exists courtesy of California researchers who weaned calves with only a fence separating them for their dams, and compared them to calves that were weaned totally separate from their mothers,” said Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension emeritus animal scientist.
Calf behaviors were monitored for five days following weaning. Fence-line calves and cows spent approximately 60 percent and 40 percent of their time, respectively, within 10 feet of the fence during the first two days.
“During the first three days, fence-line calves bawled and walked less, and ate and rested more than those calves kept total separate from their dams, but these differences disappeared by the fourth day,” Selk said.
All calves were managed together starting seven days after weaning. After two weeks, the fence-line calves had gained 23 pounds more than the calves that had been totally separated from their dams. This difference persisted: After 10 weeks, the fence-line calves had gained 110 pounds or 1.57 pound per day, compared to 84 pounds or 1.20 pound per day for the comparative group of calves.
Dr. Selk is our guest on our latest Beef Buzz- and he offers his insights on Fenceline Weaning.
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