Weaning Stock

The Weaning Process – How can we help you with your weaning process?
Are Emotional Issues causing you production losses?

The first thing we need to know is a few of the basics to get us all on the same page. I have been involved with the production of both beef and wool all of my life. I have always been looking for better ways to wean stock for future production. I have tried several processes to get these young cattle or lambs off to the best start as possible.
We all know that the quicker we can get these young stock producing the better. In some countries, you can get ewe lambs with a lamb at 7 – 8 months but in some of the lighter wool-producing countries, you would not think about joining a young ewe until they are 18 – 19 months of age. This can be the same with cattle; wherein some areas you can join them by 14 months but in other areas, (depending on their breed) you wouldn’t even consider joining the heifers until they are 24 – 30 months. Whichever you do reaching joining weight is only half of the equation.

The other half is how can you get these young animals grown to a satisfactory size and weigh, before calving or lambing? We know that it is the reserves that they carry into birthing that will drive the fertility for the next joining, but how quickly can you get them to grow into market-ready that will suit both your stock and country? There are no right or wrong answers, for there are too many variables to look at, that will also present the ultimate result for all countries and stock. Whatever you decide however, it is always good to research and ask the questions, can I get my young stock into producing quicker? And what would I need to do within my production system to reach these goals? Once you have asked these questions it is then time to work out what steps you need to take to then reach your goal. to which the question would be;

Do I have the resources in both time or feed to reach these outcomes?

Let’s assume that you have looked at your calving time to suit your country/environment, by which you have matched your calving to the average season for your country. There isn’t anything more you can do with this however, once you have done this then you need to look at weaning times, i.e. Age, season and market.
So this brings us to the question: Can I improve my weaning process to help with the production of my property?

Now I know that there are a lot of different ideas out there with regard to weaning stock. The ultimate goal has to be to wean the stock with as little stress as possible, taking into consideration that stress is one of the earliest factors that will limit your production system. The goal should be to have your stock as quite as you can to handle, with the ability to eat in a confined environment as quickly as you can.

This will give them the ability to handle being fed either in a feedlot situation or on the farm if the season goes bad. Blueprinting lambs to eat grain/supplements with their mum is a big advantage when it comes to weaning. Weaning time with any animal is a highly emotional time for both the mum and the baby as shown to us with their noise and their persistence about coming back to the yards. The baby’s show us they are emotionally stressed in other ways too like being slow to get on and eat, and we all know the sooner we can get the young eating and settled the better.

This is when you must minimise the stress. Stress lowers the immune system and slows the digestive system, which all relates to compromised production both in weight gain and animal health costs. Signs of a lowered Immune system are pink eye, respiratory infections, worm burdens, runny noses, constant walking, not eating and ill-thrift. Use a selection of our remedies and at the right time during the weaning process you can work on both the mothers and the babies to help them through the emotional problems that lead to stress. It can be done quickly and cost-effectively. Over the years of running weaning programs, one thing that I have always noticed is that we always wean going into a tough period of the year, in regards to the season i.e. feed quantity and quality. So any setback or stress at this time can quite often take a few months to get over. The longer a stress event lasts the more weight is lost and the longer it takes animals to get over it.

It is at this point that the Heal With Ease weaning process has shown the best results.
Allowing the young to get over the weaning quickly therefore, maintaining weight. So what is the real cost of your weaning process?
Testimonial: “For the last 3 years that I have run this program it has been interesting to see our cattle just keep going forward after weaning. This has also shown up in the fact that when we did worm tests in the Spring, coming out of Winter we have had nil to low counts so the weaners have not needed dosing for worms, saving us time and money.” C. Franklin, Beaudesert Qld
N.B Chris has had great results with the process on his Horses also.
To discuss your own weaning situation and get our expert advice email us at eric@healwithease.com or call Eric on 0427 696 668.