Heifer Rearing Tool

DairyNZ

Type: PDF, Template, Guide
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

By using your past heifer weights and this tool, you can establish targets to make sure heifers start cycling at 15 months, calve earlier and get back in calf easier.

This tool is produced by Dairy NZ and assesses the growth of group of heifers versus liveweight-for-age targets and its impact on reproductive performance and milksolids production.

The key sections include:

  • why use this tool, including the impact of liveweight at first mating and calving on reproductive performance and milksolids production;
  • risk assessment of losses in reproductive performance and milk production;
  • developing and implementing strategies to help close target and actual liveweight gaps.

To use this tool, work through the fact sheet’s four basic steps:

  1. Measure;
  2. Identify the gap;
  3. Assess the benefits; and
  4. Develop and implement a strategy.

It includes alternative calculations if you have a mixed breed herd, the economic benefits of reaching the target liveweights on the group of heifers and the whole herd.  It also includes a template for recording heifer liveweights.

In conclusion, the Heifer Rearing Tool will give you an indication of how your herd has performed in the past and present whilst also advising improvements for the future.

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