Increase Beef Outputs Through Weaner Management

AUSTRALIA - A new publication has been released to provide northern cattle producers with practical insights for best practice weaning to improve herd productivity and profitability.
calendar icon 30 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Released by Meat & Livestock Australia, Weaner management in northern beef herds outlines the best management practices for weaning, as well as the benefits of early weaning of calves in difficult conditions to improve breeder fertility and reduce mortality.

The publication is a compilation of all the research, demonstrations and practical knowledge available on weaning and weaner management in northern Australia. It was written by a team of representatives from agricultural departments in the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments and features producer case studies of various cattle breeding operations.

MLA’s northern research manager Wayne Hall said good weaning management can lead to greater herd productivity.

“In order to produce a calf every year, a cow needs to fall pregnant within 75 days of calving. So weaning to improve breeder body condition and improve re-conception rates is the best management tool. It can also reduce calf mortalities and reduces the need for breeder supplementation by ensuring cows aren’t feeding a calf during the dry season,” Dr Hall said.

“Also, we calculated that when properties with and without early weaning were compared, the property implementing early weaning showed a 19 per cent improvement in profit, 10 per cent improvement in gross margin per adult equivalent and eight per cent increase in beef output.”

The publication also provides an easy-to-read guide for maintaining the health of weaners, outlining nutrient requirements and other health management techniques as well as training for ease of future handling.

Dr Hall said although the research was focused on larger herds in northern Australia the principles in the publication can be relevant to all cattle herds in Australia.

Weaner management in northern beef herds complements another recently released publication Heifer management in northern beef herds which outlines heifer management principles that can significantly improve herd profitability including how to improve re-conception rates.

Download the publication Weaner management in northern beef herds.


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