Fun for the serious heifer raiser


A quick-fix, cost-cutting increase in income. Have your attention?
Well, it is not a single quick fix, but a more sustainable, long-term decrease in expenses and increase in income can be yours if your heifers do not currently freshen at 24 months or less, ready to walk into the barn, grow and compete.
Pencil it out. The OSU large breed heifer budget pegs a total cost per day of $2.67 for a heifer 24 months old.
“Too high”, you say? Let’s include all the costs. We are feeding her, housing her, bedding her, caring for her, cleaning up after her, attending to health issues, carrying farm and liability insurance on her, supporting machinery and equipment.
To be fair to the other enterprises on the farm, we are also paying interest in the $1,500+ we have invested in her, her growth, care, and pregnancy to get her to 24 months.
So, yes, two bucks plus change per day.
Makes cents. Say your average age at first calving (AFC) is 25 months. Paying a bit more attention to those growing and breeding age heifers, we could get that AFC down to 24 months.
So what? So, 30 days times $2.67 per day is $80.10.
Yes, if she had calved a month earlier we would still be doing all of the things to house and feed her, BUT, we would also be getting a milk check to offset the more expensive ration, housing, veterinary care, labor, insurance, interest, etc.
Get dollars flowing. If our heifer produces 65 pounds of milk a day for the first month, figuring 25 of those 30 days go in the tank, she ships 16.25 hundredweight. At $12 per hundredweight, her share of the gross milk check is $195.
Net that against expenses and multiply times the number of heifers you freshen in a year and we are talking some substantial dollars flowing into the dairy business.
Get jump started. It just so happens that for an investment of $195, a seat can be yours in the From Weaning to Freshening: Dairy Heifer Care and Management Workshop.
This intensive, two-day workshop picks up where the neonatal calf care workshop left off in March. Participants will focus on understanding and managing the heifer from weaning through the pre-fresh period.
Sessions on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 include:

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