News & Advice

Mating beef heifers- lessons from the dairy world

Dec 5, 2018 | Beef cattle, Dry stock

It seems that, it some ways, there are quite a few similarities between mating dairy heifers and meeting beef heifers. Data is showing us that BODY FAT and GENETICS have huge impacts on the fertility of both dairy and beef heifers. So what does this mean?

Body fat: Body fat is less about actual weight, and more about visual fat cover. It is really important to properly grow your beef heifers after weaning- they are your future cows! Avoid feed pinches in these animals before their first calving. Monitor weight, but also monitor fat cover. Fatter heifers (R2s) get in calf earlier and rear heavier calves.

Genetics: Fertility, in part, is inherited. Ensure that you keep replacements from heifers that calve early in the season, and avoid keeping replacements from cows that were dry last season.

There are other tips for heifers, including using a low birth weight bull, and preferentially feeding them after their first calf. Ensure your heifers are calving down at a time of year when you can be around to monitor them, and when there is plenty of grass (or supplement available). Heifers can be challenging to mate and calve down, but they can also be valuable. If you have any questions about mating/calving beef heifers, talk to your local Anexa vets.

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