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Prior to 2019, Jim and Jenny Cross, and their daughter Rebecca, weaned from March to April when the calves were 6-9 months old. The Cross family found the FutureBeef resources particularly useful during the severe drought in 2019, when they were forced to make some tough decisions to get their cattle through the tough time. Rebecca recalled, “There was a lot [of discussion] about early weaning around that time. There were some specific articles around nutrition of cattle as well as managing water.” She recalled how every time the FutureBeef emails came out, they triggered discussions. “We would go through, read them and then have a chat about the different things that could be implemented… and we could then take it to our cattle nutritionist and our vet and say we are thinking about doing this, what can you recommend. We went through every scenario and all the options for feeding those calves.” The combination of the FutureBeef resources, the input from their service providers and their own discussion gave them the confidence “… to make a good decision.”

To read how the Cross family went about incorporating early weaning into their management plan and the role FutureBeef played in their decision making, click here.


Overview of methods for preparing cattle for feedlots, including why it is important to prepare cattle, guidelines for yard weaning and how it can improve access to the lot feeding market.

Download a copy of Yard weaning methods for preparing feeder cattle (PDF, 285 KB) from Meat & Livestock Australia.

Weaning is a well-established practice in northern Australia. The emphasis in this book is two-fold: to describe best management practice for feeding and educating weaners; and to promote weaning of young light calves under difficult conditions to reduce mortality and improve fertility in the breeders.

Download a copy of Weaner management in northern beef herds (PDF, 2.8 MB) from Meat & Livestock Australia.