Cow-calf Management and Marketing

Pasture Weaning at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm: A Progress Report

Authors
  • Dennis Maxwell (Iowa State University)
  • Merlin Kaeberle (Iowa State University)
  • Dan Loy (Iowa State University)
  • Joe Sellers (Iowa State University)

Abstract

In September 1995, 225 spring-born calves were weaned on pasture at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm to explore procedures necessary to conduct a successful pasture-weaning program. In the two to three week post-weaning period, average daily gains (ADG) for the two groups weaned that year were 1.06 and 3.06 pounds; there were no health problems. In 1996, a research trial utilizing 242 spring-born calves was conducted to compare pastureweaned and feedlot-weaned calves. Half of the calves were weaned on pasture for three weeks and then placed in a feedlot for three more weeks. The other half of the calves were weaned directly into the feedlot for the six week post-weaning period. ADGs during the three week post-weaning period were 1.24 and 2.42 for the pastureweaned and feedlot-weaned calves. For the entire six week trial, ADGs were 1.83 and 2.40 for the pastureweaned and feedlot-weaned calves. There was no sickness in either weaning treatment during the six week trial. Initial experience indicates pasture-weaning is a feasible method of getting calves through a stressful procedure.

Keywords: ASL R1443

How to Cite:

Maxwell, D., Kaeberle, M., Loy, D. & Sellers, J., (1998) “Pasture Weaning at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm: A Progress Report”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 1998
Peer Reviewed