Taking heifer reproduction to the next level

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Successfully transitioning replacement heifers into the milking herd is a critical process for a dairy’s overall success.

The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) has developed a white paper specifically addressing heifer reproduction. Included in the document are the following suggested goals for Holstein heifer reproduction:

  • Average daily gain -- 1.8 lbs. per day
  • Weight at first breeding -- 800 lbs.
  • Age at first calving  -- 22 to 24 months
  • Weight at first calving -- 1,350 to 1,400 lbs.
  • Weight after first calving -- 1,250 lbs.
  • Height after first calving -- 54 inches or greater
  • Body condition score at first calving -- 3.25 to 3.5

[Adapted from Vandehaar (2001) and Hoffman (1997)]

Read DCRC’s advice on achieving these goals at http://www.dcrcouncil.org/newsletters/heifer-reproduction.aspx.

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