According to research, nearly one-fifth of milking heifers do not reach their second lactation – the point at which they would recoup their rearing costs.
Reading University researchers discovered that 17% of milking heifers leave the herd before their second lactation for a variety of reasons that vary from farm to farm.
They discovered that fertility, feed, health, housing, and grouping decisions had a significant impact on their longevity with the herd.
einsteineruploading up to get together with. In-calf heifers require special attention because the soft tissues of the sole inside the hoof are thinnest in young animals and around calving, increasing her risk of sole bruising.
According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), reducing stress and disease gives heifers the best chance of calving a second time. In addition to lowering costs (heifer rearing is the second-highest annual expense after feed), it will increase herd longevity, reduce the farm’s carbon footprint, and improve consumer perception of dairy farming.
ALSO READ: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Extended Lactation in Dairy Cattle
The cow reaches her peak milk production approximately 3-6 weeks after parturition, and then the yield gradually declines. Lactation lasts 305 days on average. Nonetheless, as demand for milk and other dairy products rises, many farmers are looking for ways to boost production and profitability. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is extended lactation, which has both advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading…
Top heifer advice
The following are some helpful hints for transitioning heifers into the calving herd:
- Train heifers to the parlour
- Make sure the calving pen is in a quiet area.
- After calving, provide them with pain relief.
- Keep an eye out for clinical and subclinical milk fever, ketosis, and displaced abomasum. 21-30 days post-calving
- Maintain dry matter intake during transition Monitor body condition score and rumen fill Allow adequate feed space and push up feed at least 4-6 times per day Allow adequate lying space of at least one cubicle per heifer/per 10 square metres in a loose yard
- Reduce soil stress by limiting group changes.
- Make sure your heifers are not lame.
The AHDB is holding farmer meetings across the country to teach them how to improve a heifer’s chances of calving a second time. The first meetings will take place on March 21 in Preston, Lancashire, and Denbighshire, Wales, and will continue until March 31.
Farmers will learn more about the economic benefits of optimising the performance of their milking heifers, the latest on the effects of social stress and monitoring the various transitions, and the benefits of anti-inflammatories at calving at the events. Case studies from several commercial farms will be available.