Key Points:

  • Weaner growth and development is arguably the most important point of weaning.
  • The condition of the cow is the best indicator for when it is time to weaning.
  • It is more efficient to wean and feed weaners and cows separately than together.
  • Effective weaning can boost the productive capacity of weaners throughout their lives.


Milk is a highly nutrient-dense substance and requires a significant amount of quality feed to be consumed by the cow to produce enough of it to satisfy the demands of a growing calf. During lactation, it is common for cows to lose condition, as they partition almost all their consumed nutrition towards milk production.

Despite having a calf weaning weight benchmark in mind, the condition of the cow will be the best indicator of when to wean. If cows have been “milking off their backs” for an extended period, early weaning should be considered to get the calves off and get cows back into condition for the next joining cycle.

As dry seasonal conditions bite and the quality and quantity of feed declines, the most efficient production may be generated from early weaning, as opposed to supplementary feeding of cows with the current hay costs.

Irrespective of when you decide to wean, continuing the rapid growth of calves during the weaning process is of the utmost importance, as this period can determine the body composition and productive capacity of weaners throughout their lives. Feed conversion in calves, on good quality feed, is also relatively efficient.

ANP Technical Manager and Nutritionist, Micheal Savli, has listed a few considerations to assist with a successful and stress-free yard weaning.

  1. Imprint feed the calves at least three times prior to weaning to introduce them to a new feed.
  2. Creep feeding a pellet or grain mix is good practice – talk to Micheal or Paul for suggested diet specs and formulations.
  3. Wean animals in appropriate conditions. Pick a mild day when it’s not raining and the maximum temperature is less than 30 degrees (can be difficult during hot summers. If unavoidable, wean early in the morning to minimise heat stress).
  4. Group animals into weight classes if possible.
  5. Provide access to clean fresh water and a diet of ad lib high quality hay or silage, some straw for extra roughage and an increasing diet of a simple grain mix or pellets.
  6. Ensure that essential mineral, vitamin and trace element requirements are being met, specifically calcium, sodium, vitamin A, vitamin E and trace elements. These need to be supplemented as the calves are no longer receiving adequate levels when no longer drinking milk. StockGro-EziWean is a great supplement for filling this void during weaning.

Calm calves after 48 hours of weaning


StockGro-EziWean is an effective liquid feed supplement, specifically designed to satisfy mineral, vitamin and trace element requirements, reduce cow and calf stress and support rumen development, allowing weaners to retain weight and transition onto new diets quickly.