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trying something new

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sw

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We started the wonderful process of weaning calves today from the 2 and 3 year old cows. The calves average 5 months of age, we wean them this early as the cow is not providing much more than company and we can feed the calf cheaper than the cow to make her milk enough to do any good. But, always trying to improve things, we decided to try something I have never done. We sorted the cows from the calves and turned the calves back out in the pasture they were in and kept the cows locked up. It makes sense to me and so far the calves are proving us right, they are mostly eating and laying around, very few bawling for mom. The calves have a creep feeder, they know where water is and there is nothing new or strange. The cows on the other hand think it a bumb deal as they usually head out into the outskirts of the pasture this time of day to graze old grass. Guess we will see what it's like in the morning, day 2 and 3 are usually the hardest. I chewed Copenhagen for 20 some years and just quit cold turkey, I can relate :wink:
calves eating hay on the ground
calves1.jpg

checking out the creep feeder
calves2.jpg

keeping the turkeys away from their feed, this can be hilarious
calves3.jpg

concerned mothers, actually they are thinking, "I don't have to put up with that brat anymore"
calves4.jpg
 

Jinglebob

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Sounds like a heck of a good plan sw. Let us know how it goes.

Good luck on the quittin' snoose. I got sick a couple years ago and didn't chew for 3 days so thot it would be a good time to quit. A couple weeks later I was dizzy and nouseous(sp) so went to the doc . He couldn't find anything wrong and prescribes some anti- dizzy pills which I promptly renamed my "blonde pills". I asked if it could have anything to do with quittin' snoose and told him I had chewed for 30 some years. He said it could and to take a chew to check and see if it helped. It did! Hated to start after the worst part was over, but it looked better than bein' dizzy all the time.

And before all you wimmen give me hell about the blonde comment, I am a natural blonde! :p [/list]
 

George

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With a small herd I have a good way to wean.

I bring the herd to the barn and hand feed all of them twice a day for a couple of weeks. Then I keep the calves at the barn and in a two acre lot joining and leave the cows in the ajoining 22 acre woods. They have fence line contact. What I find suprising is the calves seem to forget the cows in one or two days. The cows seem to need several days to get over the transition - - - I cut the grain away from the cows at weaning to try to stop udder problems.

I have several farmers wanting my calves - - - they bring top dollar as they are bunk broke, have all shots, and gentle - - - I try to not put fat on them but they are in good flesh and really framed out.
 

PPRM

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George,

Shoul;d work as long as they got feed. I tried to wean earlier than that once, I thought I was feeding them well, but I really didn't like the results. I have heard of some guys that wean at 90 days, but I wouldn't. Fenceline feeding has always done best for me. Looks like you are weaning during the wet time of the year, so dust shouldn't be a problem either. Good Luck!


PPRM
 

sw

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Jinglebob, I have gone for about 8 or 9 years without. I can still smell Copenhagen from five miles and it still smells soooooooooooooo good. But I am to the point where I aint the man I used to be, can't hardly smoke a good cigar anymore. At graduation at MCRD those "men" had the cans out passing them around soon as they were dismissed. I chewed on them for going three months with none and eating half a can at once. On the parade ground they cannot spit, curse, or otherwise badmouth the Marines, I dared them, I hoped they would puke their guts out. At 0500 the next morning I was the one who felt like tossing some turkey. I guess age has something to do with it all, or I'm turning into a weanie :roll:
 

Soapweed

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You live in pretty country, sw and Hanta Yo. Looking at the pictures, your calves appear to not be missing their mothers too much. Hope they get over being without their "cow-penhagen" and get settled before the weather goes kapooie.
 

Denny

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Sound's like your plan should work our cows are generally 15 miles from home when we wean.We ship the steer's same day and bring the heifer calves and bulls home.

I am one who allway's wanted to chew but whatever is in it makes me sick my body is smarter that my brain.Last spring I bought a can thinking that maybe I had outgrown my weak stomach.I put in a pinch and headed up to feed cows 10 mile drive,6 miles north was getting queezy when I got to the farm I was one sick puppy never do that again I will stick to candy bars.
 

Faster horses

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SW, many people around here wean like that and it works well most of the time. Calves go back where they sucked last and lie down or go up to the fenceline by momma and lay down. Kit Pharo is a fan of this type of weaning. He says Do NOT drive through the calves during the weaning process. He puts them in a grass pasture and doesn't have to drive through them. He has quite a story he relates on this type of weaning. Slow and easy does it!

You can probably find it on his website.
 

Northern Rancher

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We weaned that way this year and it worked really good-I built some paddocks with 6 wire electric fences around them that we used.
 

mrj

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We have pasture weaned with good results for a few years now. No special paddocks, just reinforced (to four or five wires, I think) the regular barbed wire fences. We use two different locations with slightly different situations at each. Fairly large pastures on both sides at one, and a smaller pasture for the calves at the other. The cows being moved, however temporarily, into a fresh pasture lures them away from the fence fairly soon. The calves usually settle right down, too, and like the fresh grass as well. They usually are about six or seven months old. Suppose we should try weaning a little earlier, though. Calves go into our backgrounding lot after a few weeks. We have to buy quite a bit of our hay, and all the grain or other feeds and tailor rations to what we want each group of calves to do......heavier steers to be ready to sell between Jan. and Feb., hiefers to make replacements, heifers to spay, steers to go onto grass for the summer. We feed quite a bit of DDG (dried distillers grain) and like what it does for the cattle.

MRJ

MRJ
 

Kato

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You're pretty much doing it the same way we do, except we do it backwards and put the calves in the pen. I bet you're going to want to do it this way again.

In our area we're likely to get bad weather at weaning, so it's best for the calves to have the shed to hide in. We let the whole herd come into the weaning pen to use the water bowl for a few weeks before we wean. They are grazing corn by the yard in the fall. Then one day we put a few hay bales in the pen to lure them in, and let the cows back out without their calves. As soon as the cows see the gate shut they know the jig is up, and they want out. The calves aren't so worldly, so don't figure it out for a bit. :wink: By the time they start to notice mama's gone, most of the cows have left. In less than an hour last fall we weaned almost 200 calves with a minimum of excitement. We vaccinate the calves at pasture turnout, so leave their fall shots for a couple of weeks when the stress is lower. We haven't had a sick calf yet from weaning stress, so there must be something to say for doing it this way.

Your calves are certainly looking happy chasing those turkeys. :D
 

Hanta Yo

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We've tried about everything else, we have a wreck one way or t'other. We tried weaning at the other end of the ranch, 8 mi away (this was a number of years ago when we calved in the spring and weaned in August). By suppertime the cows had 3 fences torn down and WERE IN MY YARD!!!!!

Coming home from picking up daughter from the bus late yesterday afternoon, I saw some calves headed up the hill about 3/4 mi away....guess they couldn't find their moms so they would go back to where they last saw them. Had to get the 6 wheeler, sw in the pickup to get the little yo yo's back home - there is no cab on the 6 wheeler so of course it rained some :? BRRRRRR! First light the little buggers were headed out this morning!!! At least we haven't had any broken legs/necks/backs from something spooking them and causing them to stampede right into the fence and running over each other. Right now they have lots of hay to eat and straw to lay in and eat. It seems when they have something to do, they behave themselves. :roll:
 

PPRM

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"Little yo-yo's", LOL. Had to laugh as I wondered ,"Does that mean those are Hanta's calves?",


PPRM
 

Denny

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I wean in a corral made of steel rails 5' high they don't get out of there...
 

Hanta Yo

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PPRM said:
"Little yo-yo's", LOL. Had to laugh as I wondered ,"Does that mean those are Hanta's calves?",


PPRM

Ha Ha Ha

sw and Montana Cowgurl will be off to Little Rock, AR and I will be chasing the little yo-yo's aka PH's back where they belong, like last year. They sure are developing that behavior awful quick!! :wink:
 

Hanta Yo

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Denny said:
I wean in a corral made of steel rails 5' high they don't get out of there...

Denny,

You lock the calves in/cows out - or cows in/calves out. If you lock the calves in, where do you put the cows so they don't tear down fence to get to their calves? We can keep the calves away from the cows, but, geesh, the cows do a number on our barbed-wire fences! :mad:
 

PPRM

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Hanta,

I lock my calves into steel panel corral and the cows are in the pasture next to it. It is 6 rail and 64 inches tall so calves can't stick heads thru or cows/calves jumpe over. The cows and calves can check each other out all they want.


I vaccinate them three weeks before and again a week before. It has worked very well. Otherwise, I'd be chasing them to,

BTW, sounds like sw and cowgurl have thier timing down pretty well, LOL,

PPRM
 

Denny

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Hanta Yo said:
Denny said:
I wean in a corral made of steel rails 5' high they don't get out of there...

Denny,

You lock the calves in/cows out - or cows in/calves out. If you lock the calves in, where do you put the cows so they don't tear down fence to get to their calves? We can keep the calves away from the cows, but, geesh, the cows do a number on our barbed-wire fences! :mad:

I leave the cows on grass 15 miles away.Calves are locked in the corral no cows at home.
 

Hanta Yo

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PPRM said:
Hanta,

I lock my calves into steel panel corral and the cows are in the pasture next to it. It is 6 rail and 64 inches tall so calves can't stick heads thru or cows/calves jumpe over. The cows and calves can check each other out all they want.


I vaccinate them three weeks before and again a week before. It has worked very well. Otherwise, I'd be chasing them to,

BTW, sounds like sw and cowgurl have thier timing down pretty well, LOL,

PPRM

You know what? We have locked the calves in before, so they can touch noses with their mommas between fence, but the mommas start destroying fence just to find "another way" to get closer to their babies. It doesn't do the cows any good but it sure [email protected]@@@@ me off all the fence we have to basically rebuild. That's our problem with the doggone cows. I guess is we put that good, sturdy fence around a couple sections it would work, but we lease this place and I'm not going to pay for it. Guess we just live with it. The way we're doing it now is working great, calves have settled down and aren't thinking about running around - we just needed to have feed on the ground for them to pick on 24/7 until we can get back to feed them fresh feed at daylight.

I don't mind sw and Montana Cowgurl doing something positive for our industry (Provider Pals), I think it's great father/daughter time spent and is good for daughter to do a little "talking" in front of groups. I just like to complain (girl thing) :wink:
 

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