Every product has a story
Australian graziers have been using EasyWean noserings for decades, but it all began in South Africa in the nineties.
Judy Richardson was involved in a cattle enterprise near Vryburg, South Africa that weaned 500 calves a year as part of a 1200-strong herd.
“Anyone involved in cattle production and management knows that weaning is one of the most stressful times on the farming calendar. It is a critical time in terms of production and cash flow. Finding a less stressful method of weaning therefore makes sense, which is how EasyWean came into being”.
According to Judy, their main motivation for developing EasyWean was to simplify management. “Calves can be weaned while still with their mothers. This means more flexibility in terms of grazing and herd management. However, it only took one season for the myriad production advantages of stress-free weaning to become apparent.”
All Judy’s calves are weaned with EasyWean. After five to ten days marketable calves are sold; replacement heifers remain in the herd with their mothers. Their rings remain in for around six weeks, until lactation is over, after which they are removed.
The flexibility of using EasyWean is that calves of different ages can be weaned at different times while they are still part of the herd. It also allows for early weaning in times of drought.
Condition and weight loss
Cattle producers know that the condition of the cow at calving determines re-conception. Weaning the calf at seven months affords the cow time to regain her condition before she calves again.
Judy explains that the traditional separation method can result in significant weight loss for both cow and calf. Recovering that weight comes at a significant cost in terms of lick, feed or time lost. As the use of EasyWean prevents weight loss, it allows the cow to recover much quicker, which significantly impacts condition at calving and therefore re-conception. Higher conception rates at virtually no cost just makes financial sense. “This is a win-win solution for all graziers.”