Weaning operations are underway for a number of cattle producers.
When it comes to weaning timing and methods may vary but the purpose is the same.
Calves are weaned to make sure that cows can recover their body condition after raising a calf all summer, and to allow for specialized feeding of those calves explained Colby Elford, Regional Livestock Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture.
"It's real important to get those calves on feed as soon as possible, they require an energy dense feed to make sure they are growing and meeting their nutrient requirements. You want to make sure you are monitor those calves very closely if there's any that aren't coming up to feed it might be a sign of early sickness."
He says if the cow has to support herself as well as a calf thru the tough winter months then she won’t be able to keep her body condition where it needs to be for re-breeding.
"At every stage of the process we minimize the stress and impact on those calves because it's better for them and better for our profitability but its important to wean calves off of their mothers so that we can maximize their growth potential and minimize the impact they are having on that cow."
Minimizing stress makes for happy calves, spouses and neighbors, and likely has economic benefits as well, especially for those who sell ’reputation’ cattle or retain ownership.