Well grown heifers are more likely to realise their full potential for milk production and recover their rearing costs earlier. Industry data shows that many farms would benefit from better heifer rearing practices.
InCalf book 2nd edition pp. 31-51.
How to track your heifers
Weighing heifers is the best way to keep track of their progress, but if you don’t have scales you can use a girth tape or wither height measuring stick.
On most farms, heifers need high quality supplements for at least 6 months of the year, so having a feed plan for your heifers should be a high priority.
Use our online Heifers on Target tools to:
- Check if your heifers are likely to reach their target weights
- Estimate the extra production if your heifers reach 85% of mature cow production
- Work out the impact of losing heifers early from your herd
- Calculate growth rates required to achieve target heifer weights
- Check whether your heifers' diet is likely to achieve the optimal growth rates
- Produce a target weight chart for your own heifers
Heifers on Target Guide to growing more productive heifers (PDF, 867KB)
This guide outlines the benefits of having well-grown heifers and how best to achieve this through good nutritional management and monitoring.
Rearing heifers off farm
You may decide to outsource your heifer rearing. Make sure that both parties are clear about their expectations and responsibilities by documenting these in a contract.