Weaning beef calves

Calves in the beef suckler herds that were born in the spring are now ready to be weaned. They have grown big and strong on the milk from their mothers and the summer grass.

Weaning means separating the calves from their mothers. By now the cow will be producing less milk and the calves will be eating more grass.

Removing the calf allows the cow to 'dry off', that is to stop producing milk for a while. She will calve again in the following spring.

The calves may be sold off the farm or kept to be reared for beef or breeding. Special sales of suckled calves are held at Hallworthy, Liskeard and Truro livestock markets in October and November.

Cattle reared for beef are fed on a diet that allows them to grow and put on flesh. They are sold for meat when they have maximised their growth but before they put on too much fat.