See how to spend less time in the calf house rearing heifers that calve at 24 months to make you more money from extra milk produced for longer.
Sound business reasons for visiting Volac, stand 192, during the Winter Fair on Thursday, December 10 to discuss their new ‘Feed for Growth’ programme, www.feedforgrowth.com.
A pace setting rearing system that gets heifers on target to calve at two years so cutting the time and feed needed from birth to first lactation.
As research and on farm trials proved when heifers are fed to reach service weight at 15 months overall they need less feed than those coming into the parlour months later.
Calves fed six litres of milk replacer a day cost significantly less to rear to 24 months than those fed four litres of milk replacer a day during their first two months.
Those only fed four litres a day have to grow more later in life, when their feed conversion efficiency is far lower, to reach the target weights for first service at 15 months and calving at 24 months.
During her first two months a calf can turn 50% of nutrients received into growth.
From 11 months old until calving this falls dramatically to 10%, so it is essential to take the opportunity in younger calves.
Additionally, prior to puberty a heifer’s growth focuses mainly on bone and muscle, whereas in later life heifers gain more fat.
Well grown calves become healthy, productive heifers needing less attention in the service to calving period plus having them calve sooner helps maintain a compact calving pattern.