We all know that weaning can be stressful on both cows and calves. There are numerous theories about when and how to wean in order to reduce stress and keep pounds on both calves and cows. For longer than we can remember Jon and I have been using Quiet Wean nose clips during weaning season. We’ve had quiet a few questions about them recently so we thought we would summarize why we love using them.
- Keep pounds on calves. For us it is critical that we keep as many pounds on our calves as possible. We are paid for pounds on our steer calves, and every pound we can keep on our replacement heifers and bulls means less dollars spent on inputs. Jon’s first exposure to Quiet Weans was at Star Lake. The year that they began using them, Star Lake tested the Quiet Weans on two groups. One group was fence lined weaned, the other received Quiet Weans. At sale time the group with the Quiet Weans weighed 50 lbs. more than their counterparts.
- Convenience. On our farm we are limited on space. Once the Quiet Weans are in the calves return back to the same pasture as their mommas. This reduces the amount of space we need. Also, since our calving season is spread out into two periods (January and March/April) we can wean a few calves at a time if necessary.
- Reduce Overall Stress. We have noticed a big difference in the stress levels of both calves and cows. Research has also shown by using a two-step weaning process (Quiet Weans and then separation) that calves vocalize 85% less, walk 80% less and spend 25% more time eating than compared to traditionally weaned calves. Less stress means happier, healthier calves.
How does the process work?
Calves are run through the chute and the Quiet Wean in placed in the nose. Quiet Weans are a little over $2 a piece, but can be reused year after year. We also give all of our calves a dose of Vita Charge Paste while they are in the chute. While the Quiet Weans are in they can still graze and eat creep feed, but it prevents them from nursing.
We leave our Quiet Weans in for a minimum of seven days, however we have also left them in for up to two weeks. Some calves will lose the Quiet Wean, however after many years of using them we find the number will range from 0-10%. The only downfall of using the Quiet Wean is that you do have to run them through the chute a second time to remove the Quiet Wean.
This post is all our own opinions. Quiet Wean has not paid us or asked us to write this post. However, if they would love to send us anything we would sure take it 😉