First Calf Heifer

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I've kept a few. They've turned out to be good cows.

But as @Caustic Burno says. That first calf heifer gave you NO income that year. Which is something I didn't really take into account until here recently. Then like he says, ya gotta grow that baby out to production size, then breed her, then wait ANOTHER nine months for a calf. And yet ANOTHER 5 to 7 months to cash in on HER first calf.

So there is a lot of inputs to doing it that way. Heck, I just sold 400lb heifers for 1000 bucks. Good chance I'm gonna replace em with something that's already bred and have a few bucks left over. I missed an opportunity yesterday. Could've put 2 old PAIRS back together for 1075 each.

I think retaining heifers is a very attractive way to get what you want, even if they are out of first calvers. If the quality is there and ya wanna wait and ya have the cash (those heifers ain't FREE, like was mentioned) laying around..... why not!!!
That's what I was thinking. The question was keeping heifers from heifers.

My neighbor told me the other day he never keeps heifers from heifers because they don't grow as good and the moms don't milk as well as they do when they are a 3 or 4 year old cow.

He said the genetics are there but they just don't do as good. I said "Really!?"
My problem with heifer replacement from heifers is that so many people use calving ease, low birth weight bulls on heifers to get those first calves... and I think there is a relationship between these bulls being used over generations and the resulting females being less capable of calving a normal size calf.
Bone structure, I suspect, is the issue...
Certainly the bulls of today look very feminine compared to the bulls of only a few decades ago. They have less bone, which translates to less bone in their female offspring. Hips deliver calves. If you don't have hips on your cows you have to use CE/BW bulls.
You should use the same criterial for keeping heifers from any of your mothers, whether they are a 1st calf heifer or a mature cow. They should be born in at the beginning of your calving season and be above a set weight at weaning. Phenotype and temperament are also important.

Being at the beginning of your season helps identify fertile mothers that consistently breed on the first exposure. With a first calf heifer you will have limited rebreeding information on her. Virgin heifers usually are easy to get bred, but they may have issues the 2nd or 3rd time.

The heifer calf will have all the genetics from her parents, but sometimes they will not reach their full potential because the milk production on the first calf heifer is not as good, or they did not get a good amount of Colostrum because the new mom wouldn't hold still after birth. For us they tend to be lighter weight at weaning and at the bottom of our list for ADG. There is more of a gamble by selecting them based on their parents alone.

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