Critical factors for modern heifer facilities

What are your herd size goals for the next 5 years? What would you like your dairy to look like in 10, 15 or 20 years?

Joseph Harner, biological and agricultural engineer at Kansas State University, told the audience at the recent Vita-Plus Calf Summit that having a plan for housing heifers is just as important as projecting for future milking-herd facility needs. Harner advised that such a heifer-housing plan should take into consideration the following factors that are changing in the U.S. dairy industry:

(1)

Sexed semen - Adopting sexed semen means a herd's future heifer population will grow, from approximately 47% of the lactating herd bearing heifer calves, to 60-75%.

(2)

Data-driven strategies - Gathering information on heifers at a young age - including weight, height, health and genomic data - will allow producers to develop "exit" strategies for heifers that do not reach performance benchmarks. Such strategic culling will impact the facility needs of the operation.

(3)

Technology/grouping - If a herd is switching to autofeeders and group housing, post-weaning facilities will need to accommodate those groups - for example, planning pens for 20- to 25-head increments.

(4)

Animal welfare audits - Future oversight of the industry by outside auditors is a likely reality. Standards such as one stall and one feeding space per heifer, plus shade and wind protection for open lots, will drive up the cost of facilities.

(5)

Linkages -- Dairy managers are employing a host of strategies to streamline their replacement rearing, including partnering with other dairies to develop dedicated, pooled calf- and heifer-raising facilities.

While the current practice in most operations is to group heifers according to age, Harner advised grouping based on weight instead. That includes breeding based on physical dimensions versus age.

To view Harner's full presentation, including detailed structural diagrams of heifer facilities, click here .

 

Comments

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
1 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Submitted by asdasd on Sat, 05/12/2018 - 10:01

Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.
Speed Up Traffic http://www.speeduptraffic.org

Submitted by asdasd on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 07:10

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.
SEO

Submitted by asdsd on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 07:10

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
SEO https://www.lewisseo.com

Submitted by asdad on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 06:03

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine.
Nebraska SEO services https://coseodesigns.com

Submitted by asdad on Tue, 05/15/2018 - 08:41

Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.
estate sales la https://www.estatesalelist.net/

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 05/18/2018 - 15:46

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us.
movers
https://www.moveonmoving.com/