Productivity of preemie heifers?

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Well-known member
Jan 2, 2014
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Northeast KS (USA)
Any of you have experience, good or bad, with heifers who come more than a couple of weeks early?

We had an ET heifer born four weeks early. She needed a couples of days of TLC at home, but she's now back on mama in the pastures acting as if she's not missing a beat. Other than being little, there is no way to know she was a preemie. She's five days old now and romping around the pastures like any other five day old calf would.

Just curious if I should expect any problems with her when it's time to breed her.
My first preemie was 40 lbs, orphaned at 10 weeks. She had her 5th calf this year, awesome mama, we retained her only heifer (who's on her 2nd calf). My second preemie was 40.8 lbs and couldn't even stand on her own (that's her in my lap in my avatar pic). I'd hold her up between my legs and work with her multiple times every day until she was able to stand/walk on her own. I also supplemented her with a bottle because her mama wasn't producing enough and she was orphaned at 4 months. She had her 2nd calf this year. Both Pipsqueak and Tator Tot are probably around 1300 lbs and have no significant medical issues; treated Pipsqueak for a mild case of foot rot and Tator had an eye abrasion. Both mamas died of hardware.
I should have included: Pipsqueak calved last of my '12 first calf heifers but bred back immediately, caught up and always calves within a day of her calculated due date (she also always calves in the same spot so she's easy to find :)).
One of my best purebred cows was a 30 lb preemie in 1994, kept a bull off her in 1998 and I still have daughters in the pastures from him. I have kept other preemies as cows and never had an issue. Although I don't know if there has been more than 10 preemies ever born here - pretty rare occurrence.

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