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Weaning is the physical separation of calves from the hinds so that the calves are no longer dependent on their mothers for food (milk) and security. This enables the calves and hinds to be managed separately within the farm system.

In the wild, calves are naturally weaned within their first year, but the actual timing can vary between individuals. Natural weaning seldom suits the management needs of the farming operation. Most farmers, therefore, impose active weaning management on their herds.

Key points

It is important to find a weaning system that works well for your farm and management style.

There are advantages to each type of weaning options for pre-rut weaning, natural weaning and post-rut weaning.

Tips for weaning
Things to consider at weaning
Weaning options
Stress mitigation

More resources

Information on Best practice weaning management is available in a convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheet. Download your own copy here >>

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