All my stupid comments aside :lol: I'm as interested as anyone in this.
K'kins has been really uptight about getting the calves off the momma's. Her feeling is that it's taking too much from the Momma to nurse, and carry, at the same time. I've even built her a set of panels to close off part of the pasture beyond the creek so that we could keep the calves within sight of the house if weaned. The crossing is narrow enough to close it off.
I've always just pulled, and loaded, them at about 400ish pounds, sometimes a bit more if I get tied up with other stuff.
I really don't have a good idea how long it takes before the cow will stop lactating. Or whether they will start nursing again if the calves are put back with the cows. We don't have a large enough place to keep them separate for any longer than the time it would take to wean. We only have 400 acres, and a good part of that is in 2 separate locations across the county line. Can't put livestock in the far locations because they will grow wings (pretty sad commentary on society, ain't it). And one 80 is strictly a hay meadow, can't graze it. Cross fencing is out because of water issues.
We did have a calf separated at birth, and she somehow got under the water gap, and wound up in the brush along the creek. We kept hearing it bawl for days, and couldn't place where it was coming from, thinking it might be from across the highway. The other animals were in the dry lot all this time. We never noticed any cows looking to where we eventually found the calf. K'kins found it hiding in the brush when she was out walking. I figure it might have been about 5ish days we heard her, before K'kins found her. How she survived is beyond me.
Anyways, I brought her up, after we finally got ahold of her. Placed her in the lot with the others, and she went up to a whiteface that did have a bag, but the whiteface wouldn't let her nurse. We were sure it was the Momma.
So K'kins brought her into an area behind the back gate, and hand milked her. The whiteface would occasionally come to the fence and make a low sound, you know what I mean. We attempted a few times to bring the whiteface into the small area, but again she wouldn't take the calf.
So, cut to the chase...…….it seems IIRC that the whiteface started to dry up after about 2 weeks. So that would have maybe been close to 3 weeks actual time, considering the calf had been lost for about near a week after birth. (one thing that must have happened was an initial nursing, because the calf was healthy, and probably got colostrum). We never figured it out. Might have been that the separation broke the bond...….dunno. But I really can't take that as accurate information because of the circumstances.
I looked up some stuff that might be relevant to the discussion.