Rethink Abrupt Weaning

11955By Brent Meyer, DVM

We’ve talked in the BRD Report blog about the need to spread out the stressors associated with weaning. Pulling calves from their dam and shipping them to a feedyard, all within a very short time period, places them under tremendous stress and can seriously impair their ability to fight off disease. Continue reading

Retaining Weaned Calves Adds Value

11952September 15, 2015

Dr. Kevin Hill, Technical Services Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health

As cow-calf producers approach fall weaning, it’s a good time to rethink calf economics and sale strategies. Calf values have never been higher, and projections suggest that trend will continue throughout 2015 and early 2016 prior to the expansion of the national cow herd. In past years, retaining ownership of weaned calves for 45 to 60 days before sending them to the feedlot may have seemed too expensive or risky. But with today’s economics, the cost/benefit has changed dramatically and it deserves renewed consideration. Continue reading

Fall Weaning: Stay or Ship

11942September 1, 2015

By Kevin Hill, D.V.M.

In the previous post, we talked about the importance of recognizing and managing stress for successful weaning. In the transition from ranch to feedyard, each calf will be removed from its mother, loaded on a truck, likely hauled hundreds of miles, unloaded into a new environment and co-mingled with new cattle. If all of these stressors occur within 24 hours, it will be a very difficult day for your calves and they will face a high risk for sickness and poor performance. Continue reading