Weaning

You should have a pre–determined weaning age for your calves. Gradual weaning is recommended over abrupt weaning because it causes the animals less stress. Begin by diluting milk, allowing calves to slowly increase their starter intake. A suggested weaning program is to dilute the milk volume in half for the first week, and reduce again by half for the second week. By gradually weaning a calf off milk in this way, you will minimize its stress level, leaving is less likely to get sick. Make sure there is a good supply of fresh clean water available. Source: Healthy Calf Conference, 2006, Woodley

After weaning, it is a good practice to have the calf stay in the hut for up to two weeks. This allows the calf to experience a non–competitive transition to the grower phase. From weaning onward, calves should remain with the same group throughout the production cycle, again to help minimize stress.

There are two ways to transition calves to the main grain diet. One method is to mix starter with an equal quantity of a 3:1 mixture of corn and concentrate. The other method is to feed the starter separately from the corn and concentrate mixture. Ideally, calves should weigh 70–80 kg (155–175 lb.) when started on a total grain and concentrate diet.

Accelerated Feeding #1-Current Feeding Programs
Accelerated Feeding #2-Limitation of Current Programs
Stress at Weaning
Calf Weaning Checklist

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