Now is the time for beef producers with spring-calving herds to complete weaning and consider calf marketing options, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.
Timely calf weaning reduces cow energy needs and pasture stress, and allows pregnant cows time to gain weight heading into winter.
“Weaning helps stretch pasture resources, and longer grazing means using less harvested feed, such as hay or silage,” Ron Lemenager said. “If we wean calves and take them off of pasture, we can reduce cow pasture consumption by 25%, as well as eliminate the calves’ pasture intake and trampling losses associated with their hooves. Collectively, this should translate to a 30-40% stretching of pasture resources.”
Weaning a calf also reduces stress on the mother. When cows lactate, they have much higher energy needs and they gain less weight. The result is that they have to eat more and have a harder time improving body condition heading into the cold winter months, Lemenager said.… Continue readingRead More »