Weaning cattle

Weaning calves from their mothers is a very important part of ranching operations. Some ranches take the calf off the mother and take them to sale. We choose to wean. We buy commodities with medicated feed. Then during the first couple of days we make sure everyone gets to feed.

We treated the red and white calf for scours. Notice the butts runny and the body condition was beginning to slip. The key to any illness is catching the signs early and treating appropriately. The red and white calf responded well and didn’t need further treatment.

When the calves go to feed you can assess the group. By doing this any calf that doesn’t go to feed could mean they are sick. After they eat, we can easily sort them off with a few other calves and vaccinate them in the shoot letting the healthy ones go out.While they are eating you can inspect the group for scours and body condition. Make sure you have enough hay and water throughout the day and evening. Make sure here is enough hay so the littler ones don’t get beat out of feed.

During inspection I walk around the calves and let them used to me. Some of the calves might end up as replacement heifers and you want to teach them that you  mean them no harm. A teaching behavior is that if they are eating and safe and you’re around it will bridge a positive reinforcement with humans and food. 

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