Secondly, the environment must be maintained to provide a comfortable bed and quality air to breathe. Much like I mentioned in an earlier article if you are not willing to find a spot in the pen to lie down and breathe easily, it is not fit for the heifer either. Air movement is a must and fresh air needs to be constantly replacing stale air. Also the population of each pen needs to be controlled. Squeezing 20 heifers in a pen made for 15 does not work.
The third area to monitor in these heifers is parasites. These include internal parasites like worms and coccidia, external parasites like lice and mange, and environmental parasites like flies and ringworm. These can all be prevented with careful attention to a few details. Mostly keeping things clean and dry and maintaining a healthy animal will prevent parasite problems. As I have mentioned many times, it is easier to prevent these parasites from becoming problems than to allow them to affect the heifers and then try to treat them.
Monitor the in-between months
It is during these in-between months that the heifer is often times vaccinated to prepare for breeding and adulthood. It takes a healthy, growing heifer to properly receive and utilize the vaccines to build a stronger immunity. A healthy heifer in this stage of life will pay dividends in reaching breeding age in good shape with a strong immune system and few health treatment costs.
So, the next time you are checking on things, take a few extra minutes and check out the forgotten heifers to make sure they are properly cared for. A properly-cared-for heifer will be ready to move into the breeding pen at 13 to 14 months or earlier. Fewer treatment costs turn into more dollars to feed and care for this group of heifers.