Will You Wean Calves Early This Year?

Stingy clouds and high heat are drying up a lot of pasture and crop growth this year and many producers are well into drought-coping mode. Will You Wean Calves Early This Year?

Make sure to leave us a comment below to join the discussion. You can also find resources on early weaning here and here.

Discuss this poll 19

Anonymous
on Aug 10, 2012

We had not planned on it but fire this week was the deciding factor. Weaned first group today.

Anonymous
on Jul 27, 2012

mid misssouri is burnt up.
got cows in the woods eating underbrush for now. not feeding
hay yet. Trying to hold on...too damn hot to wean calves .
Mo Gov issued $2mil drought relief for 17 counties. 65+ already applied in my county. doubt if us small timers will see
any $$$.
Wheres Barry when U need him???
Campaigner in chief?????

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

Very dry here in west central Arkansas, have weaned everything I could about two weeks ago. Mainly just to give the cows some relief. Will try to dry lot and feed until normal sale size of 500lb or so, maybe prices will be back up by then. Uneasy about feed prices though. If we got rain now, we possibly could get second cutting of hay, but about to lose hope of that.

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

West central Kansas. Will sell off older cows with their calves now and hopefully keep calves on cows till it rains and cools off so we can wean. Will background for 30- 45 days and sell. OUCH!! Will cull 1/2 of our herd and hope we have enough hay to last us till next spring.

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

Have weaned spring calves. My part of ky is pretty dry, cows not eating hay yet. Just enough spot showers to hold on. Would like to take calves to normal weaning time just uneasy about feed prices.

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

Early weaned most of my calves, about 1/2 escaped resulting in a new fences and better gates. I really didn't want to work them again due to heat and handling stresses. Question: What, on average, is the optimum weaning time before returning the calves to grazing pastures?

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

All calves over 300# getting weaned ASAP. Waiting on weather with 4 or 5 days in a row under triple digits. Hope it's soon. SE Oklahoma

Anonymous
on Jul 22, 2012

How many are dealing with Grasshoppers along with the drought? I'm getting up to 37/sq.yd. Bluegrama is being cut off at the basel bud destorying stock pilled forage from last years

Anonymous
on Jul 23, 2012

we had a similar problem 3 years ago. We used a product called Dimilin and sprayed in 100 foot swaths with 100 foot skips and it worked well to control the hoppers

Anonymous
on Jul 21, 2012

We will wean a month early. We are surviving right now, but there is not any winter feed. (Colorado)

Anonymous
on Jul 21, 2012

North Central Arkansas is extremely dry: pastures gone, ponds drying up, lots of cattle being sold, and most of the producers keeping cattle are feeding hay. Those keeping cattle are keeping only their best. Early weaning or selling light-weight calves is just another way producers are trying to hang on.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

I calf the year around. Have been weaning early, dry lotting calves and culling off the older ones. Inaddition have been taking calves off their mother at three weeks of age drafting them on to Holstiens tell 70 days of age then dry lotting. Goal is to save as many calf producer as posssible for next years production. Dry and drying cows are turned out on to summer fallow grazing weeds tell a week prior to planting.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

We weaned our calves yesterday in western South Dakota. Very dry and triple digits aren't helping us. We normally wean the calves the first of October.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

If we would receive substantial amount of moisture today we would wean at least 30 days early and as each week goes by without moisture then thinking of weaning earlier yet.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

we have been blessed with lots of rain and the mother cows are doing very well so as of now we will hold calves to their selling wts of 500-600.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

What date constitutes early weaning in western Oklahoma. Our date tends to vary depending on the onset of wheat pasture and prospects for wheat pasture. I would anticipate weaning as early as August. Concerns are what can you do with those calves if the high heat is still going on at that time. Most of the weaning areas have very little shade and get dusty very quickly. So you leave the calves on thinking they are better off in the pasture. How much tolerance do the calves have in the weaning traps? Harold

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

depends on rainfall.

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

We wean early every year - the first week in July

Anonymous
on Jul 20, 2012

Too early to tell yet.

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