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Evaluation of Forage-Based Weaning Systems in Spring Born Cross-Breed Beef Calves Ronnie Helmondollar Randolph Co WVU Extension service.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation of Forage-Based Weaning Systems in Spring Born Cross-Breed Beef Calves Ronnie Helmondollar Randolph Co WVU Extension service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation of Forage-Based Weaning Systems in Spring Born Cross-Breed Beef Calves Ronnie Helmondollar Randolph Co WVU Extension service

2 Objective Evaluate different supplements that may be used when weaning calves in a forage- based system Determine the effect of early weaning on cow condition score

3 Why? Preconditioned calves have more market value than non-weaned calves The biggest expense in a weaning program is feed cost Cow Condition is a secondary benefit

4 Treatments Three treatments –Commercial Pellet (Treatment I) –Ground Corn/mineral premix (Treatment II) –Pasture and mama (Treatment III)

5 Methods Weights were taken at: –Pre-weaning vaccination (Early August) Calves were blocked by sex, AOD and weight –Weaning (Early September) Randomly assigned to treatments within blocks –Post Weaning (45 days- mid-October) Treatment three calves were weaned at this time Cow weights, BCS and ultrasound measurements were recorded at each of the three weigh periods

6 Weaning Management Vaccination –IBR, BVD I & II, PI3, Lepto –Clostridial –Haemophilus somnus –Pasturella –Dewormed, external parasites –Dry lot until moved to pasture plots – 5-7 days

7 Paddocks Aftermath hay field – orchard grass, clover, fescue, bluegrass Strip grazed – polywire was moved once a week or sooner if needed Supplements were bunk feed once a day

8 Results

9 Treatment

10 Year

11 Treatment x year

12 Sex of calf

13 Sex x year

14 Age of Dam

15 Cow information

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20 Economic analysis of feeding energy supplement on pasture backgrounding programs Treatment Mean weight gain (kg) Mean cost of weight gain ($) Mean value of gain * ($) Mean cost of marginal gain ($) Mean marginal value of gain * ($) Net return per kg

21 Discussion Calves can be weaned in a forage system without sacrifice weight gain Steer calves gain more than heifer calves AOD can have an effect on weight gain Weather differences can effect weight gain

22 Discussion contd BCS can be improved by weaning calves BCS changes are maintained into the next breeding season Corn has a net advantage over a pelleted feed (processing corn will add to the cost of using corn)

23 Collaboration WVDA Land Division - Huttonsville Unit cows and calves were used as part of this project. Students from WVU Animal Science unit assisted with data collection

24 Thank you!! Questions?


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