Feed Management of Dairy Heifers – Post-weaning to Calving

Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Type: PDF, Factsheet
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Heifer rearing to the point of calving sets the level of productivity during the lifetime of the cow, so it is vital that the nutritional requirements are met during this crucial period.

This fact sheet was produced by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2009 and is an overview of feed management of dairy heifers from weaning at approximately 60kg live weight through to calving.

Whilst it refers to the typical components of homegrown pastures in subtropical regions, the feeding requirements (such as suggested DM content at each age group) are consistent with those of southern areas.  The fact sheet discusses homegrown feed, mineral supplementation and concentrates, and feeding grain and silage.

Key sections include:

  • Post-weaning to about 8 months (60 to 200kg);
  • 8 to 15 months (200 to 350kg);
  • 15 to 24 months (350 – 550kg+);
  • Live weight targets and feed requirements.

It also includes a table of protein and energy requirements for optimum growth of dairy replacement heifers at each development phase, and capacity of forage and concentrate combinations to meet these requirements.

In conclusion, this fact sheet provides easy-to-read information on feeding dairy heifers at three of the major development periods during the first two years of their lives and benchmarks to compare your heifer’s growth to.

2009 - Australia - Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
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