Weaning Stress of Beef Cattle

Hespen, Drea
People in the cattle society are always looking to reduce weaning stress in order to attain a higher weaning weight during weaning season. The "Weaning Flap" method was used to reduce weaning stress on calves. To explain our research, we ran 98 head of calves through the squeeze shoot; three calves in a row retained a flap while the next three did not engage in the flap procedure, the same pattern of three on and three off was used throughout the total number of head. This method was hypothesized to reduce weaning stress on calves by allowing the calves to stay with their mothers but prohibit suckling and in return produce a higher weaning weight. After research was conducted, through weighing the calves before and after the allocated time, the results presented the flaps in a negative way. Calves without the flap ultimately gained more weight. As a result, the flaps proved to be a disappointment being as they did not rise to their advertised potential of increased weight gain due to stress relief.
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