Date of this Version



© 1983, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


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.