Number 10: Calves that are weaned later in life are less likely to grade ‘choice’ thus, being more attractive to the ‘high yield’ type markets.
Number 9: Seven month weaning instead of weaning at 2-4 months keeps the stocking rates of pastures down, thus eliminating the need for carrying more cows.
Number 8: Weaning at 7 months allows the calf to be hungry due to declining milk production by mamma, thus encouraging calves to consume more creep feed.
Number 7: Weaning later will reduce early calf growth, thus allowing for more ‘compensatory’ gain in the feedlot.
Number 6: Weaning later keeps cows thinner and able to slip through gates and fences easier.
Number 5: Later weaned calves will weigh less and as a result can be marketed later with everyone else’s calves.
Number 4: Later weaned calves will weigh less and thus, should command more cents per pound than their heavier contemporaries.
Number 3: Later weaned calves can be creep fed to boost weaning weights. Since the feed conversion of creep feed is not very good, later weaning utilizes more cheap Ohio corn.
Number 2: Later weaning allows open cows to be culled in the fall with everyone else’s open cows.
Number 1: Lactating cows require as much as 2/3 more feed than dry, gestating cows – weaning at 205 days will eliminate much of the abundance of hay that was carried over in Ohio from 1998.
EDITOR’s NOTE: Thanks to OSU beef specialist Dr. Tom Turner for his contribution to this ‘article.’ OSU has been the leader in the research of the benefits of early weaning beef calves with supporting data going back for nearly two decades. In fact, Dr. Turner suggests that maybe weaning calves at 2-4 months of age might now be considered ‘normal weaning’ and 7 month weaning should be considered ‘late’!