Looking after young stock

Heifers present a significant investment on dairy farms. At the point of calving, it is estimated that a heifer has cost the dairy farm owner approximately $2000 when all of the costs associated with rearing heifers are accounted for. Research has shown that the most profitable heifers calve for the first time at 24 months of age or less and are well grown from day one.

Extensive research undertaken in Australia has shown that heifers that reach target weights perform much better in several key areas:

  • Heifer fertility
  • First calver fertility
  • First calver production

Download the 'Looking after young stock' fact sheet.

Key messages

  • Heifers need to be actively managed, not just left in a paddock
  • Heifers are the most important animals on the farm
  • As soon as paddock feed quality decreases, start feeding replacement heifers