A calf’s diet and surroundings change dramatically at weaning. Here are some quick tips on weaning management tips to ensure calves get a good, healthy start when they are weaned.
It is important to closely manage this life stage. Lack of proper management after weaning can affect the value of your calves. This is a time often calves become sick and won’t grow as they should. If producers are attentive and take precaution this can often be avoided.
Perform dehorning and castration before weaning. If the weather is still warm, have most of the moving and handling done by noon or early afternoon. Quickly and quietly separate calves from their dams. Ensure calves start on the water as soon as possible.
Provide Balanced and Adequate Nutrition
Wean calves before energy and protein levels of feed become inadequate. When forage is limited, early weaning can allow calves to maintain a high rate of growth and also prepare cows with improved body condition for winter. Because feed consumption is reduced in newly weaned calves, high-quality feed should be provided. Also, pay attention to micronutrients, such as copper and zinc. Deficiencies of these elements can lead to increased illness and a decline in growth performance.
Control and Monitor for Parasites
Internal and external parasites can impact performance and also compromise the calf’s immune system.
Work with your veterinarian in developing and implementing specific calf vaccine protocols for your operation. As a minimum, you should vaccinate to protect calves against clostridial diseases and the common bovine respiratory disease viruses.
Stop in at Olsen’s for your management needs during weaning and take a look at our animal health and cattle feeds.
Source: Purina Mills