If you have cows, you’re no stranger to traditional weaning tactics and you’ve also likely heard of both fence-line and nose-flap weaning. Calves weaned in both manners have been shown to walk less, eat more and call less than their traditionally-weaned counterparts.
Reducing stress doesn’t end with one magical weaning strategy, however. It’s best to couple whichever tactic you choose with other management strategies that consider the animals’ health, comfort and safety: handle animals quietly and calmly, provide adequate food and water, make any changes in feed gradual (e.g. pre-condition calves in creep-feeders prior to weaning), vaccinate well in advance, and work cattle in good environmental conditions.
In this video, Joe Stookey, professor of animal behaviour at the University of Saskatchewan, explains the process and the reasoning behind nose-flap weaning, and takes us through the sorting process they use to further reduce stress during this critical period.
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