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.
More info = better answers! Age, weight, breed, sex, species. If health Q, take the temperature! Number affected vs number in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, reproductive and lactation status, any recent changes....
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WARNING! MM's posts about health contain SCIENCE, DATA, and answers that can be supported by RESEARCH. If this scares you, please scroll down to the next post.
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.
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