BCRC: Less complaining. More Gaining.
Calves that are fence-line weaned vocalize 50% less, walk less, and have higher weight gains in the first 10 weeks post weaning compared to conventionally weaned calves1. A practicing veterinarian from southeastern Saskatchewan that uses fence-line weaning with his own cattle reports that calves weaned using low-stress practices have a treatment rate of only 5-10%, instead of the 25-30% he sees in abruptly weaned calves.
Fence-line weaning requires a strong enough fence to keep calves and cows apart so page wire, 4-6 strands of barbed wire, or 2-3 strands of electric fencing (if calves are familiar with electric fence) is recommended. Another option is to use a set of corals on pasture, locking cows in and leaving the calves in the familiar environment. Fence-line weaning should last a minimum of 3-4 days.
Learn more about low-stress weaning techniques at http://www.beefresearch.ca/research-topic.cfm/weaning-65
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