dairy calves, heifers, feeding programs, cattle management
If improved breeding and management practices are followed heifers will most likely be better than the cows in the dairy herd today. Costs of raising a heifer to 24 months of age may range between $800 and $1,500 depending on the farm. If heifers calve at more than 24 months of age, $2 per day are lost in feed, herd replacements and lifetime production. Although reducing the calving age may have a positive impact on profitability, heifers must grow at an optimal rate to avoid calving problems and to have a successful first lactation. Some practices recommended for raising heifers are discussed below.
Schingoethe, David J. and Garcia, Alvaro, "Feeding and Managing Dairy Calves and Heifers" (2001). SDSU Extension Extra Archives. 119.