Considering weaning? How to prevent the stress…
Do you find weaning is a stressful time for mum, progeny and you? You may have experienced stock weight loss, lower immunity/ disease or decreased condition scores as a part of the process. Let Beachport take the stress out of weaning with BLM Green Cap.
The aim in a successful weaning is three fold;
• Mother – Shorter recovery time, better condition, energy surplus and increased conception rates
• Progeny – Calm, strong immune system, rumen development, less weaning time and improved handling
• Feed – Maximise efficiency
Common issues at Weaning;
• Young animals can lose weight, increasing the likelihood of contracting disease and ruining infrastructure.
• Bringing weaners into yards and trying to feed them unfamiliar feeds can be confronting and confusing for them.
The biggest cause of these issues is stress and unfamiliarity; stress reduces animals’ appetite, supresses their immune system and causes them to behave in destructive ways to get back to the comfort of Mum.
Benefits of Weaning;
Weaning lambs or weaning calves provides numerous benefits for your operation;
• An immediate feed saving; energy is expensive and for ewes or cows to produce milk, it costs a significant amount of energy per day. Weaning can save up to 30% of the energy requirements: this is achieved by removing the milk producing energy requirements during lactation.
This directly influences ewe and cow condition score, by weaning they will not be mobilising as much body condition to meet energy requirements. In many cases, it puts ewes and cows back into an energy surplus where they’ll begin storing energy reserves again.
• By having cows or ewes in better condition they will return to oestrus quicker, resulting in increased conception rates and more animals pregnant in the first and second cycle. Tightening up joining has flow on benefits for the following year like reducing the tail in the mob for weaning and sale.
Why try weaning with BLM Green Cap…? Reduce the stress
“We have great success with the Green Cap with our weaning, putting the recommended rate through the dispensers in the water troughs. Initially, weaners were frightened and agitated when first drafted off, but after a night in the yards on the medicated water, there was an amazing transformation. The weaners were calmer and settled, eating hay and calf pellets. When it came to tailing, Michelle commented that the weaners were very easy to tail with the dogs in the yard. After a couple of hours of being worked with the dogs, Michelle took 850 fresh weaners outside without any drama.”
Garry & Michelle Riggs, Lakefield Station NT
There are many different management practices designed around ‘low stress’ handling at weaning and its likely what suits you may not suit the next producer. No matter what your practices are at weaning BLM Green Cap is flexible, cost effective and easy to use.
The science: BLM Green Cap is uniquely designed to provide a natural source of amino acids, fulvic acid and trace elements such as Magnesium, Copper, Cobalt and Selenium. It provides a rich source of Magnesium to aid in calming the animal. Magnesium coupled with fulvic acid, a powerful electrolyte, keeps stock hydrated to minimise weight loss and stimulate appetite. Making the transition of weaners onto new feeds easier because their rumens convert feed more efficiently from Day 1. A calmer animal performs better and by calming stressed lambs or calves it can reduce yard weaning time, reduce weight loss and improve handling. By shortening this time, progeny can return to feed quicker resulting in heavier weaners and less health issues such as scouring and pink eye because their immune systems are not compromised.
• Its flexibility allows you to provide BLM Green Cap to cow/calf or ewe/lamb units 7-3 days before weaning or to the weaners after processing. In both systems, we recommend using our low stress, easy to use dispensing system where product is supplied via the water trough over a 3-day period.
Key Management Practices
• Imprinting – When supplementing freshly weaned lambs or calves, it’s important to imprint them to the supplements (troughs, grain, hay, loose lick, feeders, etc) in the 2 weeks before weaning. Imprinting means exposing them to the supplement whilst on Mum, they teach their lamb or calf that it’s a food source. This can significantly increase the uptake of these supplements from Day 1 of weaning calves or lambs, leading to improved weight gains.
• Animal Health Treatments – By reducing stress in an animal it can improve the efficacy of vaccines because their immune system is able to adequately build antibodies, creating a defence against the disease in the vaccine. Clostridial diseases such as Pulpy Kidney can cause sudden death at weaning because the animals are undergoing a significant feed change. Having milk removed from their diet is a significant change and their rumens must adapt to usually the best feed on the farm. To ensure your animals are covered, after the 1st initial vaccine provide the 2nd vaccine booster shot 4-6 weeks after. Drench for worms if required. In dry areas or for confinement feeding Vitamin ADE injections are also very beneficial, Vitamin A and E are very important for cell and tissue integrity and repair. By using Vitamin ADE you can help prevent issues such as pink eye, weepy eyes and respiratory disease because cells and tissues are healthier and repairing quicker.
• Transitioning onto new Feed – Diet is also very important for weaners, their requirements of quality protein and energy are essential for their daily weight gains. Managing transitions onto green feed or grain diets successfully is key to their daily growth rates at weaning. No matter what feed you’re providing the weaners with, ensure they are not going onto high energy feed hungry. Provide quality hay in yards so they don’t over consume grain or high protein feeds when released. If they are hungry over consumption can lead to grain poisoning, scouring and nitrate poisoning. Managing weaners diets and their transition can be difficult, if you would like to know more information please call Ashlee, Technical Services Manager on 08 8725 4668.
“We dosed our weaners with Green Cap from the day they were removed from their mother. By the next afternoon, they were being tailed. I have never used an electrolyte that can calm cattle and prevent weight loss that can be even mentioned on the same page as BLM’s Green Cap. Cattle were contentedly camped less than 2 days after removal from the herd, which in our experience was a remarkable feat, that unlike other gains we believe the various products to hold, cannot really be disputed, or have alternative theories floated.”
Sean Dillon, Serbiton Station QLD