What Is It Wednesday: May 11 - Calf Weaner
Welcome to our newest feature, "What Is It Wednesday"! Thanks to everyone who guessed - quite a few of you got this object right! While this particular artifact is not on exhibit, please visit the newly-renovated Nebraska History Museum at 15th and P Streets to engage with more fascinating Nebraska History!
This week's artifact is a "calf weaner." This calf weaner (NSHS 8130-48) was made by Kees Manufacturing of Beatrice, Nebraska. The F. D. Kees Manufacturing Company was founded in 1874 in Beatrice. F. D. Kees started as a gunsmith and later operated a hardware store. The company also manufactured corn husking hooks, roller and ice skates, lawn tools, and trellises. Calf weaners can reduce the stress of weaning because it makes the process more gradual, and variations of this calf weaner (usually made of plastic) are available today. Calf weaners (worn for 4-10 days) prevent calves from nursing while allowing them to graze, drink, and engage in full physical interaction with their mothers. It helps prepare both cow and calf for full weaning. Reduced weaning stress can have long-term benefits on calf health.