Date of this Version
This NebGuide discusses the benefits and disadvantages of weaning beef calves early, including rations and methods for both drylot and pasture-grain feeding programs.
Early weaning of beef calves is a management practice that should be considered under situations such as fall calving, drylot cow-calf production and drought. In areas where forage quality is very poor in late summer and early fall, early weaning might also be considered as a regular practice. Early weaning can enhance the efficiency of drylot cow-calf operations by allowing greater use of poor quality roughages by the cow herd.