Heifer Rearer Feeds

Feed

Goals of Heifer Rearing Programme

The AdVanceTM Heifer Rearing Programme is geared to efficiently rear Heifers to meet critical development goals at optimum levels. The Heifers will reach puberty at approximately 10 - 11 months of age and weigh 270 - 295kg, before going on to develop to their most favourable breeding age of 14 - 15 months; standing at 50 - 52” tall at the hip and weighing 350 - 400kg. Sound development in this way will gear the Heifer up for calving at 24 months of age, weighing 610 - 630kg, with a BCS of 3.5. In summary, the programme supports a relatively constant rate of gain; 0.8kg/day from birth up to calving, whilst optimising feed costs.

Background/Economical Information

  • The average cost of rearing heifers is over £1,400 - £1,500 and feed accounts for 60% of the cost from weaning to calving (versus 38% of the cost from birth until weaning)
  • Lifetime productivity is maximized when heifers calve at 23 - 24 months of age, provided they are of adequate size
  • Decreasing the average age at first calving from 28 months to 24 months in a 120 cow dairy herd consisting of 33% heifers would result in an annual saving of £7,000-£8,000 Weaning to Six Months of Age
  • Wean heifers based upon dry feed consumption more so than age (most dairy calves are weaned between 4 - 8 weeks of age)
  • Feed a high quality calf starter
  • Once heifers are regularly consuming over 2kg of calf starter per day for three consecutive days, they can be weaned
  • Be certain to group calves according to body weight/size
  • Do not begin feeding silages until calves are weaned

Six Months to Breeding (13-16 months of age)

  • Utilise forages as the primary basis of rations during this period
  • Feed concentrates only in amounts needed to balance the ration for the desired amount of daily gain
  • Have forages analysed so that quality is known, not estimated
  • Puberty is a function of weight, not age. Expect Holstein heifers to reach puberty when they weigh 270 - 295kg

Breeding to Calving (23-25 months of age)

  • Continue to maximise forages, feeding only enough concentrate(s) to meet animals’ requirements. Usually 0.5 - 3.5kg of concentrate/head/day, depending on forage types available
  • If fed on excellent quality hay, silage, or grazing, no supplemental concentrate may be needed for the majority of this period
  • Follow the Wynnstay 80/20 Dry Cow Programme in the last eight weeks before calving

Target Weights for replacements heifers

AdVance Heifer Rearer Feeds

Three quality, compound feeds from 16% to 20% protein. Can be fed with any forage or combination of forages. Feed from 10/12 weeks of age through to eight weeks before calving.

Heifer 600 Nuts + Biotin

Application: High genetic merit. Straw and/or restricted silage. Biotin for improved hoof strength.
Availability: 20kg bags, 500kg totes, bulk

REARER 18 Nuts + NIS Nuts

Application: Medium to high genetic merit. Straw or silage.
Availability: 20kg bags, 500kg totes, bulk

REARER 16 Nuts + Biosprint®

Application: Medium to high genetic merit. Silage/hay. BioSprint for increased liveweight gain.
Availability: 20kg bags, 500kg totes, bulk


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