Managing risk the first week after weaning

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Is “cold turkey” the best way to wean calves off of milk?  New York-based calf and heifer management specialist Sam Leadley thinks not. 

In a recent issue of his regular publication, “Calving Ease,” Leadley points out that many well-managed calf programs can have calves gaining 1.7 to 2.0 pounds per day at eight weeks of age.  But if calves are pulled completely off of milk overnight, that pace of gain is bound to be interrupted as calves transition onto a fully solids-based diet.

Leadley prefers a more gradual approach, such as feeding calves at half-ration milk for one transition week to build up to 3 to 4 pounds of starter grain consumption before eliminating milk entirely. 

To read more of Leadley’s weaning transition advice, follow this link

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