Weaning 2

Weaning 2

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Fall Processing Recommendations for Your Weaning-aged Calves

And just like that, it’s time for fall processing. Let’s look closely at what we’ll need to give our weaning-aged calves a leg-up in their next stage of life.     


An implant would be important for this group of calves. Implants improve efficiency and profitability – increasing the animals’ growth by up to 20% and improving feed efficiency by up to 10%. The return on investment can be upwards of 10-1, so for every dollar you spend on an implant, you can get $10 back.  

Here are a few tips when implanting.  

Ensure proper positioning. Implant the backside of the ear, in the middle-third. You can find diagrams online to help illustrate proper positioning.  

Implement low-stress cattle handling, which will reduce overcrowding and excess manure contamination of the head and ears.  

Prioritize sanitation and cleanliness to help minimize the risk of infection and ear abscesses, which can prevent the implant from working.  

Place a bucket nearby with disinfectant and a stiff brush, so you can gently clean the ear using disinfectant. Replace the solution after it becomes dirty.  

In addition to cleaning any soiled ear, disinfect all sides of the needle, using a sponge soaked in a disinfectant (I recommend using chlorhexidine.) 

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