Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about QuietWean.

How do nose-flaps stay in the calf’s nose / do many fall out?

The flap simply hangs from the calf’s nose! They are made of lightweight plastic and are non-invasive (there is no piercing of the nasal septum to keep flaps in place). The unique one-piece design of these flaps makes them less likely to break or fall apart. It seems nothing is ever perfect and a few nose-flaps may indeed get pulled out as some have during our own experimental trials. In general, when used as directed, the retention rate with these flaps has been 95% or better.

How do nose-flaps prevent nursing / how effective are they?
The nose-flap acts as a physical barrier preventing calves from getting a teat into their mouth. Feedback from producers suggests there can be considerable variation between farms in the number of calves that figure out a way to suck while wearing our nose flap. In our own test trials, 0 to 5% of calves learned how to suck with the device on.
How long should the nose-flaps be left on calves?
Leave nose-flaps on for 4 to 7 days. Our research on calves 6 to 7 months of age has shown the same reduction in calf stress whether nose-flaps are worn for 4 days or 14 days so we recommend the former. The shorter periods will reduce the number of calves that lose nose flaps – and the number of calves that learn to suck with them in place. In addition, calves’ nostrils may become irritated when flaps are left in a long time. We have found that cows are quieter after separation when nose-flaps were worn for 8 days compared to 4 days.
Blue flaps or yellow flaps - does one size fit the full range of calves of different ages, different breeds, etc?

The yellow nose flaps were designed to fit calves of all breeds weighing 400-700 pounds (180-320 kg). However, experience has shown they are effective in calves as small as 200 pounds and as heavy as 900 pounds (90-410 kg). We do not know whether their use in very large calves has resulted in more loss of flaps or more calves learning how to suck with flaps in place; however, some producers have asked for another flap that would fit better in very large calves. Consequently, we have made available a larger Blue nose flap that will fit better on large calves. We are dedicated to improving the overall effectiveness of our nose-flaps. Your suggestions are valuable and we encourage all who use our product to send feedback about their experience through our Contact page.

Can I remove nose-flaps and keep cows and calves together?

The second step of the QuietWean protocol, the physical separation of cows and calves, is essential to its success! Separation across a fenceline is sufficient but it is important that once nose-flaps are removed, pairs are not immediately reunited. If this is done we know that cows and calves will pair-up again and continue nursing.

What are the major advantages of using QuietWean?
The QuietWean protocol virtually eliminates stressful behaviours that are detrimental to calf health. QuietWeaned calves spend much, much less time and energy bawling and pacing after weaning and greatly increase the amount of time they spend feeding and ruminating. Reducing weaning stress with QuietWean will have very significant benefits on calf health and performance. Unfortunately, the beef industry still accepts weaning, shipping and mixing of calves from all over in one step. This results in huge losses to producers in terms of calf sickness and death, loss in weight gain, loss in carcass quality, heavy use of antibiotics, and immense increase in feedlot management costs.
Are there drawbacks to using QuietWean?
Some will say extra handling is a drawback to this method. In fact, when best practices for handling are followed, extra handling due to QuietWeaning is minimal. Placing nose-flaps can simply be added to other normal procedures when the herd is brought in for vaccination, weighing, parasite control, replacement of ear tags and so on. These stressors significantly reduce the immune response to vaccines, and therefore, it is best that calves are returned to pasture with cows after vaccination to minimize stress. Weaning is by far the biggest stress a calf experiences in fall procedures. The QuietWean process will eliminate weaning stress when calves are brought in the second time for separation from their dams. The only handling difference is that these calves will also need a trip down the chute to remove the nose flaps. Watch this video for an efficient way to separate cow-calf pairs . Producers with catwalks along the raceway will find that nose flap removal is very quick and easy and most calves will not need to be caught in a head gate for flap removal.
Can nose-flaps be recycled and used again?

Use them as many times as you like! QuietWean nose-flaps can be used again and again. We recommend washing and disinfecting nose-flaps after each use and storage away from sunlight.

Still need help? Send us an email.
For any other questions, please write us at quietwean@hotmail.com