Successful Weaning Tips

Weaning calves doesn’t need to be a stressful time for you and your cattle. Making a few adjustments in your nutrition and management program can help ease the weaning transition.  Here are 5 tips for weaning success.
  1. Make sure that you provide access to good, clean water.We know that water drives feed intake and by providing unlimited access to clean water, we can help get these young cattle on feed quicker.
  1. Put your feed bunk perpendicular to the fence row.As you put cattle into pens, they tend to spend the first minutes to hours circling the pens, right?  If you have the feeders perpendicular, the cattle’s circling pattern is interrupted.  It helps to get them on feed quicker as well.
  1. Make sure that you provide free-choice hay.  If your starter rations include hay, then please make sure you are providing unlimited access to that hay.  Now is not the time to make the young cattle “clean up” the feeder.
  2. Provide a shelter.You can be weaning during either a heat spell or a cold spell.  Let’s just make sure that the young cattle have the opportunity to get under shelter if they are needing it.
  1. Incorporate a Purina Stress Tub or Wind & Rain Availa 4 Tub into the pen.If you have some hard starting or some timid calves, then they typically hang out in the back of the pens away from the feed.  Let’s put these tubs in the back of these pens for those “special needs” cattle.  When these calves lick the tubs, they begin to produce saliva.  As they produce saliva, the saliva helps to buffer the rumen and gets the young cattle on feed quicker.

As always, if you are needing assistance or would like a free on-farm consultation, then please contact our Lifestyle Feed Specialist, Sarah Breuer, at 920-418-2173 or