By: Travis Meteer, University of Illinois
Weaning is arguably the most stressful event in a calf's life. Combining stressors at weaning can inhibit immune response triggering health problems and shut off gains. Fortunately, cattle producers can understand stressing events and manage against the freeway pile-up that can occur at weaning.
Another potential hurdle is the loss of maternal antibodies that the calf receives through colostrum. This lowering of protection occurs around 120- 150 days. Thus, calves stressed around this time may be less capable of combating immune challenges.
Producers will want to make a plan for weaning that boosts immunity and keeps stress low in calves. This factsheet talks about the stresses on cattle at weaning and offers some tips on how to make weaning a success.