Weighing In On Early Weaning
By Clint Peck
Early weaning as a herd-management practice continues to be a viable alternative for cattle ranchers across a big chunk of the U.S. Certainly for producers in drought-prone regions of the West and Great Plains, it’s a tool that can be used to avoid culling cows and maintaining high levels of reproductive performance among young cows.
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Researchers continue to explore the practicalities and economics of various early-weaning systems. Richard Waterman, range nutritionist, and Tom Geary, reproductive physiologist, both working at USDA’s Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Miles City, MT, have been leading an extensive early-weaning research effort.