Mon­i­tor heifer calf progress

Irish Examiner - Farming - - DAIRY SECTOR -

Heifer calves should weigh 30% of ma­ture weight at six months old.

This means that by late Au­gust, spring-born Hol­stein Friesian heifer calves need to be at 180kg, and Jersey cross­bred-type calves need to be at 160kg.

This is the tar­get for the in­di­vid­ual an­i­mal, not the av­er­age of the group.

Take time to weigh young stock this month. Iden­tify the poor­est/slow­est­grow­ing an­i­mals in the group and sep­a­rate them out for ex­tra con­cen­trate feed­ing, if pos­si­ble.

En­sure all groups of young stock are fed the high­estqual­ity grass pos­si­ble; heifer calves will read­ily eat 5kg to 5.5kg DM of high-qual­ity grass per day.

The min­i­mum stan­dard for daily growth rate is 0.7kg liveweight per day (20kg per month), for Friesian and cross­bred stock alike.

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