Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Maximising the productive value of heifers

14 November 2013

Maximising the productive value of heifers

Some heifers are calving at only 82% of their mature weight rather than the target of 90%, recent dairy industry statistics reveal.

With some farmers struggling to keep condition on stock during the drought last year, further support may be required to assist heifers to reach target weights.

SealesWinslow Nutritionist Wendy Morgan says that the strategic use of animal feed can assist heifers to reach their target weight by the time they calve, resulting in the animals being more profitable in the herd, using the nutrients and energy from pasture for production of milk solids, rather than for growth. 

“Research has shown that well grown heifers are more successful at getting back in calf, cope better in the herd with mature cows and produce a higher level of milk solids,” says Miss Morgan.

With mating season just around the corner good animal nutrition will also boost chances of conception, as underweight cows will prioritise their energy to support maintenance.

“If the cow is not receiving enough energy to support maintenance and growth, she will not have the spare energy available for getting in calf, or even to show she is cycling, which in itself is an energy demanding activity.”

The lack of size of heifers is shown clearly in the data available from the LIC/DairyNZ New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2011-12.  The data reports an average weight of a Holstein-Friesian at 2 years of age (first calver) at 420 kg, whereas by the age of 6 (fourth calving) she has grown to around 515 kg, an increase of 95 kg. Therefore, she is only calving in at 82% of her mature weight rather than the target of 90% (464 kg).

While ideal spring conditions have seen strong pasture growth, supplementation can complement pasture grazing and deliver higher levels of nutrients than pasture alone.

Miss Morgan says that farmers needn’t be put off by the potential hassle of feeding supplements where heifers are being grazed on a run off block away from the main farm, as there are convenient feed options available. In addition, farmers may not want to run this stock through the shed even if they are close by. 

“Products such as Ricebran pellets, which are rich in essential fatty acids important in improving herd fertility, can be fed out in troughs in the paddock due to the slow release starches they contain. 

“They are also rich in starch and contain the majority of vitamins including B and E, phosphorus and other minerals, protein, fat and easily digested fibre.  Essentially you are looking at a concentrated combination of starch and high quality fat which supports both condition and energy balance for mating.”

Miss Morgan also recommends the practice of agreeing liveweight targets for heifers with graziers to ensure growth stays on track throughout the duration of grazing.

For more information phone SealesWinslow on 800 007766 or email info@sealeswinslow.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Snail's Pace: Aucklanders Face Frustrating Commute Over Harbour Bridge

Journeys into Auckland's CBD took longer than usual as traffic banked up around the damaged Harbour Bridge. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO:

SAFE: Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea

Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal at 4:45am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area is affected by Typhoon Maysak. At 4pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat - with no people in it - and a man in lifejacket nearby. The ship ... More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwisaver Fees Don't Match Performance

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published an independent report into the passive and active investment management styles [i] used by KiwiSaver providers. The FMA commissioned MyFiduciary to test the extent that KiwiSaver providers were ... More>>