Winning weaner stories
16 December 2016
Friday Feedback readers loved any mention of weaning cattle and how to do it better in 2016. Here are the three features which attracted the most attention. (Click on the titles below to read more).
An MLA-funded on-farm project found the determining factor in the success of any cattle weaning technique is maximum human and dog contact with the weaners. Six farms took part and each trialled two of the three weaning methods being assessed – paddock weaning, yard weaning and advanced training.
With buyers prepared to pay a premium this summer for yard-weaned calves, a few simple weaning techniques can pay dividends for cattle producers, according to feedlot veterinarian Lachlan Strohfeldt of Bell Veterinary Services, Queensland. Lachlan said best practice weaning techniques could result in post-weaning daily weight gains of 0.5-0.7kg.
Management, handling and feeding of weaners is critical to their performance in later life. Producers should generally aim to wean as early as possible without compromising overall calf growth rates. The early weaning of calves can also provide substantial benefits to the cows through reduced weight loss during lactation, higher body condition scores and significantly shorter calving intervals.
Listen and learn
Listen and learn how to improve your weaning techniques in this MLA video, where Jay Mohr-Bell of Mathison Station in the NT explains how yard weaning helps prepare cattle for livestock export markets.