The start of a successful dairy herd begins with the foundation stock and the correct growth of the heifer replacements. If this part of a replacements life is mis-managed it will never perform to its maximum potential in later life.

Getting the nutrition right in the first ten weeks of a calf's life is the key to improving heifer performance. Correct feeding during this period has a definite effect in later life. We would recommend that calf liveweight gains should be 0.8 - 1.0 kg per day from birth to weaning at eight weeks with a typical weight of around 90 kgs (200 lbs) at this time. Products (both milk replacers and dry feeds) have to be of the highest energy and quality along with the necessary levels of protein to enhance muscle development and growth. Heifer size and target weights at various stages of life are dependant on the type of animal you are rearing. If you are rearing smaller compact cattle then the target weight at bulling will be lower. The balance of energy and protein is crucial within the dry feed as well as the grass or forage being fed.

Some of the latest thinking recommends that heifers should be 60% of the mature body weight at bulling and 85% of their mature weight at first calving. Once you have this target and know when you want them to calve then you can determine the daily gain needed and plan the nutrition accordingly.


HOLSTEIN / BROWN SWISS 650 - 725 360 - 400 550 - 620
GUERNSEY / AYRSHIRE 525 - 580 280 - 310 525 - 580
JERSEY 425 - 500 225 - 260 360 - 425
SHORTHORN 620 - 690 350 - 380 525 - 590

Details of our complete range of youngstock feeds for successful heifer rearing are shown on our Calf, Beef and Sheep page. These products have been designed to meet all the nutritional requirements that will ensure they achieve the target weights needed to be a successful and prolific milker when she joins the dairy herd. Details of all feeding rates are available on request.