Post-Weaning Growth

They’re weaned! But it’s not over yet. Now you have calves to feed, keep healthy, and get the most growth and grade potential to sell to the next person in line.

There’s a critical window from weaning to 65% of their mature weight where final marbling and yield grade are still being set.

Precondition like a pro

When is your magic number 45? When you’re preconditioning, that’s when. Research shows 45 days or more is ideal to maximize post-weaning performance.

Target gains of 2 to 2.5 lb. per day during this period where the main goals are:

  • Acclimate calves to eating from a bunk and drinking from a waterer
  • Provide time for complete vaccination and booster program
  • Allow calves to re-gain lost weight due to weaning stress

Less sickness=less labor. It’s better for the next person in line, too. Be sure to discuss a complete vaccination protocol with your veterinarian.

Match growth promotants to goals

Growth-promoting technologies just fill in for a lack of DNA, says one industry expert. Using implants in an animal with high growth potential will give you a “nitro-burning car that flames out.” But there are times when cattle need that extra boost.

Translated: make sure your calves need an implant before you give them one. Then, match nutrition to implant potency. Work with a nutritionist, because using an aggressive implant when nutrition isn’t able to support the increased growth may increase gain, but quality grade will suffer long term.

Stocker success

More than two-thirds of the U.S. calf crop will enter a backgrounding program. As the puzzle piece that connects rancher to feeder, we know it’s significant.