Replacement Heifers

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WillowCreek

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I'm new in the cattle business, sold my first crop off my brangus heifers this year & did very well :D . I held over 3 heifers that i really liked and need advice on what is the best way to "grow" them. I currently have them on good pasture (rye grass/common burmuda) with minerals available to them. Is this enough? Implants? I want them to grow good & need advice.
 

3waycross

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WillowCreek":3obokotg said:
I'm new in the cattle business, sold my first crop off my brangus heifers this year & did very well :D . I held over 3 heifers that i really liked and need advice on what is the best way to "grow" them. I currently have them on good pasture (rye grass/common burmuda) with minerals available to them. Is this enough? Implants? I want them to grow good & need advice.

How long ago were they weaned?
 

Kingfisher

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Hello. I'm " new" to this too. My advice would be to read everything you can here to start with. Then read it again. :)
I really agree with the concept of becoming a good grass farmer first has some real value to it. God bless your work.
 

1982vett

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Good grass/forage and good fresh water. A good mineral and salt at their discretion. A little cow candy every now and then for easy handling. Worm in the spring and fall and get them vaccinated. Some sort of fly control regimen and you will have a cow heaven.

No implants on retained heifers as they can mess up fertility.
 

nagwag

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They should grow just fine in the pasture. If the pasture is too big for them, divide it into different sections and rotate them through. This will keep fresh, high quality grass in front of them. Then in the winter, provide them with the best hay you have. The heifers should be at least 65% of their mature weight at breeding time.
 

Lucky_P

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I'm not advocating implanting heifers, but it can be done between 30 days of age and weaning, without significant adverse effect on reproduction; the earlier the better. Ralgro and Synovex-C(I don't know about any others) - both have FDA approval for use in heifers. Studies of heifers implanted with both of the above, done as far back as the early '80s, showed no significant decrease in fertility/pregnancy rate, and implanted heifers had larger pelvic areas at 1 & 2 years of age than their non-implanted cohorts(easier calving, anyone?).

Again - I'm not recommending implanting heifers that you PLAN to retain as replacements - but if you do implant 'em early, and they grow off well, you don't have to send 'em on down the road, just because you implanted them.
I know I've kept some implanted heifers from time to time, and can't say that they were any less fertile or productive than non-implanted herdmates. But, most of the time, those that got an implant were less-than-ideal candidates from the start, or were born really late in the calving season, so they weren't likely to make the cut, implanted or not - but the extra growth they put on paid dividends when they went to market.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Lucky is correct on the implants - but I also wouldn't advocate it for heifers. We used to Ralgro implant our steers - definately a money making tool. But, our feedlot buyer doesn't want them implanted so we haven't for maybe 10 years.
I, personally, feed about 5# of 14% protein ration to my weaned heifers thru age of breeding. I "expect" them to breed & calve at 2 years of age, and go on to make a great cow. I can't "expect" them to do that if they aren't grown out properly. And, as said - DO NOT get them fat. If you see fat developing in the udder, back them down. Every cell that fills with fat in the udder will NEVER produce milk (this only happens PRIOR to being bred).
 

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