Replacement heifers

Studies show that a total of 14.5% of heifer fail to reach their first lactation and 33% of heifers fail to reach their second lactation.  Poor fertility or poor milk yield are the most common reasons for culling heifers post-calving.  In order to calve at 2 years, heifers must achieve growth rates of more than 0.75 kg/day.

Improved early growth (600-800g/day) is linked to reduced mortality and lower age at first calving.  Increased first lactation milk yield has also been attributed to improved growth rates in the pre weaned calf.  After weaning, rapid growth should continue to be the target, provided the heifers are not getting fat.  Frame growth is critical at this time as around 75 to 80 percent of it occurs before the animal is 12 months old.  Heifers should be fed concentrates throughout the grazing season.

Just before service, energy intake should be increased before service and around six weeks after to improve fertility.  Excess condition is far more likely to occur in older heifers, would increase calving problems; reduce feed intake after calving; increase fatty liver and ketosis; and reduce subsequent fertility.

Jamesons Products for Replacement Heifers