Most progressive dairy producers already strive to calve heifers between 22 and 24 months to pay back heifer rearing costs earlier. The economics explain why.
A Penn State research study showed that reducing the age at first calving by one month nets $70 in rearing costs for each calving heifer. For a herd calving 500 heifers annually, that’s $35,000.
Getting heifers into the herd one or two months sooner allows for internal growth and discretionary culling within a herd. A dairy producer will not need to buy as many replacement animals if heifers from within the herd can start milking sooner.
Producers can accomplish ideal heifer growth and capitalize on profit opportunities by putting more bacterial protein through the rumen for absorption in the animal’s small intestine. From these absorption sites the animal metabolizes the protein into amino acids to help her grow more muscle and bone, rather than fat.
Feeding FERMENTEN® Rumen Fermentation Enhancer can yield up to 20 percent more microbial protein production. By increasing microbial protein production bone and muscle growth increase without adding extra fat, because the proper metabolic protein-to-metabolic energy ratio is maintained. The added protein helps heifers capitalize on the efficiencies of ruminant protein production and grow to their genetic potential. In addition, a rumen fermentation enhancer can help slow-growing heifers achieve compensatory growth, which accelerates their growth rate by more efficiently converting feed to growth so they can catch up to their peers.
Faster frame growth aids heifers in reaching breeding size faster. Once heifers are pregnant, rumen fermentation products provide them with the proper nutrients to continue to grow and maintain their lean frame so they are more likely to calve without distress and produce more milk in their first lactation.