dairy calves, heifers, feeding programs, cattle management
Raising healthy heifers is important to the success of a dairy operation. These heifers are the future dairy herd and will be better than the cows in the herd today, if you follow improved breeding and management practices. You invest $800 to $1,500 to raise a heifer to 24 months of age, the age for optimal profitability. If heifers calve at more than 24 months of age, $2 per day is lost in feed, herd replacements, and a lifetime production. Heifers must grow at an optimal rate to be large enough to breed on time, avoid calving problems, and have a successful first lactation. Some practices recommended for raising heifers will be discussed below.
Schingoethe, David J., "Feeding and Managing Dairy Calves and Heifers" (1994). SDSU Extension Extra Archives. 108.