I breed based on weight, not age. Calf should be 55-65% of their mature weight at breeding. Most properly cared for and well-fed heifers will be at an appropriate weight to breed between 12 to 15 months. That applies to Jerseys, Holsteins, HoJo crosses and the vast majority of beef breeds. Sometimes you can breed earlier, but if the calf isn't ready to breed at 15 months there's either something wrong with the feeding program or the calf's genetics.
~Your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~
Post by Rhein-O-Ranch on Mar 8, 2010 1:23:36 GMT -5
The hard thing there is figuring out what the mature weight should be if you don't know a whole lot about the history of the cow. If they are the bigger breeds like Holstein or BS then 800 lbs is a good target weight. But if they are Jersey then 450 - 600 lbs would be a good target. A Jersey/Holstein would probably be 700 lbs. Remember they will have 9 more months to grow after you breed them and they grow for up to 3 years. The last heifer that we bred was 22 months old. But she came to us with Laminitis and it took time to get her over it. She is due the 1st and is looking good....See my Halter breaking post about her.
We have nurse cows, calves, show calves, llamas, pygmy goats, turkeys, chickens, pigs, dogs and cats on our little piece of Heaven.
I don't think you should breed a heifer until they are 15 months-18 months old.They will then calve at 24-27 months.A heifer younger than this has a lot of strain on her body as she is producing milk as well as being expected to get back in calf within 3 months.Certainly a jersey heifer can be bred at 15 months as they are earlier maturing than a holstein which could do with another 3 months to grow before breeding them.Leave them longer to be bred than 18 months & they are likely to be too fat at calving which causes lots of problems in itself.
moserfam6: I am in the Kansas City area and need some comfrey to make a poultice and/or feed to a cow that broke her leg. Anyone know where I can find some comfrey?
Dec 7, 2013 17:44:35 GMT -5
jettat: Need help yearling bull calf got into pig food sometime since yesterday and is down with diarrhea. Vet didn't come out but said only thing to do is give it Kaopetric (SP) but don't give us much hope. Any suggestions would be a big help.
Dec 8, 2013 15:26:03 GMT -5
milkman: You need to post this in the 911 Section immediately.
Dec 10, 2013 22:52:52 GMT -5
hroewe: Just finished Joann's book. It was fantastic!
Dec 12, 2013 23:11:17 GMT -5
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'