LINNEUS, Mo. – A “Weaning Calf Management Workshop” will take place 5-8 p.m., Oct. 15, at the Forage Systems Research Center in Linneus.

The workshop will present new research on calf weaning along with proven practices from years past, said David Davis, superintendent of the University of Missouri farm in Linn County. All the tips aim to make the old problem of separating calves from their mamas easier.

Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage agronomist, and Justin Sexten, MU Extension beef nutritionist, will talk about weaning and receiving calves. Emphasis will be on weaning calves on pasture rather than in dry lots to reduce stress and illness. That system promotes continued gains during the transition away from cow milk.

“One system that most producers don’t believe until they see it is fence-line weaning,” Sexten said. “Weaned calves are kept within sight of their mothers, across an electric fence.

“That requires a very hot fence,” Sexten added. “When weaning, you want the calves very close to their mamas—or very far away. When calves are kept within sight of the cows, the weaning process is much quieter.”

The MU specialists will tell ways to wean or receive newly purchased calves without a complete standstill in average daily gains.

Sexten will explain feed supplements for weaned calves. Byproducts from ethanol plants can reduce costs and fill nutritional needs of calves.

The specialists will talk about the quality of hay needed and how to feed it for best intake if calves are weaned in dry lots.

Kallenbach and Davis will emphasize the pasture forages to feed the calves. They will tell how to grow good-quality pastures.

Davis said that FSRC is testing nose flaps on calves to wean those left with cows in the herd.

The workshop is free, but Davis asks attendees to pre-register by calling 660-895-5121. “A head count will help us prepare handouts—and refreshments,” he said.

To reach the farm, go west from Brookfield, Mo., on U.S. Highway 36, then north six miles on Highway FF to Genoa Road. Go west 1.5 miles to the headquarters. Signs are at the intersections.

FSRC is a part of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. For more details, see

Source: David Davis, University of Missouri Extension