How to introduce weaners to a new environment

20 May 2016

Queensland feedlot veterinarian Lachlan Strohfeldt says using best practice cattle handling techniques in the first six months of an animal's life sets them up for a lifetime of productivity.

Queensland and central NSW cattle producers have the opportunity to hear the latest tips and tricks on best practice weaning at weaning acclimation workshops to be run by Lachlan.

Herefords Australia, with support from MLA's More Beef from Pastures program and Coopers Animal Health, will host the field days at:

  • Rockley, NSW, on 25 May
  • Taroom, Queensland, on 9 June
  • Banana, Queensland, on 10 June.

The other benefits of good weaning, according to Lachlan, include:

  • immediate post weaning daily weight gains of 0.5-0.7kg
  • reduced pressure on anti-microbial drugs and vaccines
  • the opportunity to earn an extra $20/head from feedlots by vaccinating animals at weaning with Bovilis MH +IBR at weaning to reduce the effects of Bovine Respiratory Disease.

Lachlan's tips on yard weaning, which he shared at earlier events, include:

  • Allow plenty of time to work with the weaners from day one – don’t set unreasonable time restraints on yourself.
  • Initiate movement from the front of the herd, not from behind the cattle.
  • Be positioned where the cattle can see you and where they can also see where you want them to go.
  • Cattle instinct is to always come back to where they came from – use this to move the herd.
  • On day one, simply seek to move the cattle from corner to corner until they start moving as a herd.
  • Work with the lead animal to control the pace of the herd – walk along with him to control his speed.
  • Walk against the cattle to speed them up, walk with them to slow them down.
  • Spend 10-30 minutes each day moving them as a herd through the yards then reward them with quality hay.
  • On days two and three, educate the calves to walk through gateways.
  • On day four, allow the calves to walk quietly through the open crush and feed out into pasture.

More information

To attend a weaning workshop contact Herefords Australia on 02 6772 1399.

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