Do you want great heifers? Of course you do!

|Do you want great heifers? Of course you do!

Do you want great heifers? Of course you do!

Chris Hibburt December 2017

Why?

  • They are hassle free with fewer animal health issues
  • It feels good to have them in the herd
  • They calve early
  • They can be mated to sexed semen
  • They are the core to overcoming stretched out calvings
  • They produce more milk for life

Farms that have well grown heifers have some common elements:

  • The business has prioritised heifers and made a commitment to do them well
  • There is a champion who will drive the heifer rearing side of the enterprise
  • The farm is resourced adequately to rear heifers
  • The business has the technical know how to do a good job
  • They are regularly monitored by weighing
  • Animal health management is a priority

Critical success factors

  • Allocate the responsibility to the champion
  • Feed enough energy and protein every day to achieve required growth rates
  • Weigh heifers regularly and separate smaller heifers for preferential treatment
  • Give them priority over every other animal in the herd for the best feed
  • Make it easy by investing in simple feeding systems

Weighing Heifers

  • If you have a good setup then purchasing scales and a wand can be money well spent. The total purchase and set up cost is around $5000. The Vet Group can provide advice on set up as well as provide weight records analysis and management
  • The Vet Group offers a weighing service and provides a report based on targets with some advice on feeding. A technician will bring portable electronic scales
  • Cost per head is approximately $2.50 and in good facilities we can weigh upwards of 60-70 per hour
  • At weighing, stock can also be vaccinated, drenched if needed

 

When should heifers be weighed?

  • Rising one-year old heifers born before spring should be weighed in early summer. This is a critical time to intervene with underachieving heifers over summer and autumn so they make mating weights
  • The more heifers are weighed, the more likely they will stay on track as feeding management can be adjusted to address shortfalls. An ideal interval of weighing through to 18 months of age is 3 monthly. For farms with their own scales, this can be done at any time heifers are yarded with minimal extra work

HeiferWise is an investment in your herd’s future, helping to maximise the production, longevity and performance of your valuable replacement stock. Ensure the money you invest in supplementary feed, vaccine and drench for your heifers, is money well spent with sound advice, and ongoing support from your HeiferWise veterinary advisor.

Call Farm Services on 1300 838 700 to discuss how our HeiferWise programs can improve your herd’s profitability.

By |2018-08-26T19:26:49+00:00December 13th, 2017|Categories: Farm Services|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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