What to consider when selecting replacement heifers

As pasture conditions improve across the U.S. producers are starting to rebuild their herds. As producers select replacement heifers there are a number of factors to consider. Jerry Lispey, American Simmental Association, discussed the selection of replacement heifers for fertile longevity during his presentation at the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, TN.

Lispey said the percentage of bred heifers that stay in the herd for more than six years is less than 50 percent.

When sorting out potential replacements Lispey said first to look for the too/too heifers. Sort off the ones that are too big, too small, too fat or too thin.

Then consider the dates the heifers were born. Heifers  born in the first third of the calving season also generally get pregnant earlier than their herd mates. Lispey said research has shown that heifers born early last the longest.

Finally consider hybrid vigor. The impact of heterosis can be big for a heifer that stays in the herd for a long time.



Categories: Uncategorized


Senior Field Editor, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal.


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