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.
Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex, species. If health Q, take the temperature! Number affected vs number in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....
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.
We are now selling fresh whole milk and mozzarella and Velveeta style cheeses along with fresh eggs.
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.
treatlisa: Welcome!! You will get more activity if you start a thread of your own. Good luck with your new ones!!
Apr 5, 2014 14:23:00 GMT -5
YounkerHomestead: I am sooo glad I found this site! I don't know many people in my area interested in owning a family dairy cow. I am really enjoying reading the threads from like minded people Good luck to everyone calving!
Apr 8, 2014 12:27:00 GMT -5
dextergal: Ya ikr?!? The people on here are really sweet also!
Apr 8, 2014 23:29:49 GMT -5
Janene: Hello folks! Don't forget to look through the Tree of Knowledge! Loads of information there with photos in some sections!
Apr 13, 2014 18:38:44 GMT -5
hadassah: Hey guys check out my new post...
May 18, 2014 16:24:27 GMT -5
faithwingnut: Can someone give advice in the 911 section please!
May 20, 2014 22:37:10 GMT -5
cheyne: Hi anyone here?
May 20, 2014 23:00:50 GMT -5
mama1ruby: please help me identify a scaley round ringworm looking spots on my calves head and neck
May 31, 2014 13:08:10 GMT -5
7kremerz: Need to rehome adult pyrenees in south wisconsin
Jul 3, 2014 10:14:47 GMT -5
jennyinwexford: Cow with nose bleeds shakes head any ideas on why?
Jul 5, 2014 13:57:47 GMT -5
cathymb6: I have a new calf, not sure when to start milking heifer. Saw somewhere within the first 12 hours. Is this correct?
Jul 6, 2014 13:32:48 GMT -5
mommamary: Researching dual purpose milk and fiber goats. Does anyone have recommendations?
Jul 7, 2014 19:01:46 GMT -5
mommamary: I am researching goat breeds that have Both good milk and fiber for spinning. Are there any good ones?
Jul 7, 2014 19:03:44 GMT -5
Jenny at Sagehill: Problem w/fiber goats is they put their energy into fiber, not milk. Cashmere goats might work, but their fiber needs a special dehairing machine to remove a LOT of coarse hair from a bit of cashmere.
Jul 13, 2014 12:05:01 GMT -5
Jenny at Sagehill: Angora goats might work except they aren't bred to milk much or longer than their kids require. They're rather smaller animals and can be finicky.
Jul 13, 2014 12:08:13 GMT -5
beelady: i had an angora doe that was a precocious milker. huge udder too... right now im crossing angora buck on nubian does saving the doelings that show mohair/cashmere and breeding those onto angoras..
Jul 16, 2014 7:42:26 GMT -5
romal: hi there..does anyone know if the Heifer Diary will continue & how Joann is doing?
Jul 17, 2014 14:16:14 GMT -5
Chatty Kathy: I've been out of the KFC, milking mass quantities. I cannot seem to find Joann's current diary entries and saw a post asking how she is doing. She has been such an inspiration and help to me. I'd like to know how she is.
Jul 28, 2014 19:52:58 GMT -5
sparkey75: Why can i sometimes see the avitars and cute pics on the side of the page by everyones name and sometimes not?
Jul 31, 2014 7:27:30 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?'