Calf and Heifer Rearing
Rearing dairy heifers is the second largest cost on a dairy farm behind feed costs. Therefore, it is important to minimise losses and achieve good growth rates and health status to achieve an age at first calving of 22-24 months. This is considered to be the economic optimum for lifetime milk production, future fertility and recouping rearing costs. Getting calves off to the best start in life relies on providing sufficient quality colostrum as soon as possibly after birth, with good nutrition and management to minimising disease risks. The aim is to optimise growth rates so that heifers are big enough for breeding at 13-15 months of age. The following resources provide information on several aspects of calf management and heifer rearing to help achieve calving at two years.
Click on the links below to find out more:
Ensuring All Calves Get the Best Start: Dystocia’s Effect on Early Beef & Dairy Calf Nutrition – event summary
Sign up to the FAS newsletter
Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service