Replacement Heifers

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IndianCreekcowboy

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I just weaned 3 heifers from 1st time heifer mommas 512, 516 & 518 lbs @ 7 mos. old (2 weeks ago). I plan to keep these 3 for replacement females. I have always heard that a heifer should be at least 75% of her adult weight when first bred. I have for the most part a closed calving season, I plan to introduce these heifers to a bull the 1st of April; so I have 6 mos. to get them to the desired weight. My question since I know their weights; is 15 lbs. (3% of weight) of 12% protein feed per head/per day enough or too much to get them to gain approx. 1.5 lbs/day, I don't want them too fat, any advice?
 

dun

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Actually the recommended percentage is 65% of their expected mature weight.
It depends on the breed and what you exopect them to mature at. We don't grain our heifers, and they generally run in the low to mid 5s when they're weaned. They get some grain the first couple of weeks post weaning when they're in with the steers that will go to the feed lot. When the steers go, the replacements just go back with the cow herd. We start breeding mid-may and we've never had a problem with a heifer running in the 7s at least by the time they're yearlings. They need good quality feed but not a hot grain ration. But we don;t push them and expect them to perform on just pasture and hay in the winter if we run out of stockpiled pasture. A low 7 wieht when bred should run around 1100 mature weight. That's the reason for the dependnce on the breed. Chianina would have to be a lot heavier then Angus or Hereford, or Simmenthal/ Glebvieh for that matter.

There is another thread about feeding heifers. Don't recall where it is but look around and you'll find it.

dun
 
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IndianCreekcowboy

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Thanks dun, these heifers have never had feed prior to being weaned 2 weeks ago, I am giving them my best hay and am just getting them used to the feed bucket to make them easy to pen as adults, I hope to have them on ryegrass pasture sometime late Nov. early Dec. These are Beefmaster/Brangus Crosses.
 

ollie

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dun":1rqfymnw said:
Actually the recommended percentage is 65% of their expected mature weight.
It depends on the breed and what you exopect them to mature at. We don't grain our heifers, and they generally run in the low to mid 5s when they're weaned. They get some grain the first couple of weeks post weaning when they're in with the steers that will go to the feed lot. When the steers go, the replacements just go back with the cow herd. We start breeding mid-may and we've never had a problem with a heifer running in the 7s at least by the time they're yearlings. They need good quality feed but not a hot grain ration. But we don;t push them and expect them to perform on just pasture and hay in the winter if we run out of stockpiled pasture. A low 7 wieht when bred should run around 1100 mature weight. That's the reason for the dependnce on the breed. Chianina would have to be a lot heavier then Angus or Hereford, or Simmenthal/ Glebvieh for that matter.

There is another thread about feeding heifers. Don't recall where it is but look around and you'll find it.

dun
Dun, Just because your cattle have been bred or sorted to make it in your environment on no feed dosn't meen first generation genetics on this mans place will. It is also hard to generalize about breeds as well. You and I both know that your red angus , hereford, angus breeds all have cattle bigger than most Chianinas. Not all cattle are like yours.
 

cherokeeruby

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IndianCreekcowboy":3o5orlcp said:
Thanks dun, these heifers have never had feed prior to being weaned 2 weeks ago, I am giving them my best hay and am just getting them used to the feed bucket to make them easy to pen as adults, I hope to have them on ryegrass pasture sometime late Nov. early Dec. These are Beefmaster/Brangus Crosses.

Beefmaster/Brangus crosses should do just fine on good hay and ryegrass pasture in your part of the country. Other than for penning purposes they should not need any supplements. Make sure they have perpetual access to a good mineral mix. You local feed store should carry a mix formulate for your region.
 

Beefy

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All i have to add is that if your heifers are high percentage brahman, they may or may not be ready to breed at 13 months of age, depending on the fertlility of your beefmaster and brangus. as a general rule bos indicus influenced cattle are later maturing than say, angus.

for the record i raise beefmasterxangus mostly and am looking into brangus.
 

greenwillowherefords

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Getting a heifer too fleshy can negatively impact her mothering ability later on. I feed replacement heifers about one gallon of creep per day until they are breeding age, then after they breed they are tapered off, which doesn't take long from a gallon.

I would expect 15 pounds of feed per day to produce 2 1/2 to three pounds per day gain on a heifer, just for the record.
 

dun

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ollie":1q7c9vo2 said:
Just because your cattle have been bred or sorted to make it in your environment on no feed dosn't meen first generation genetics on this mans place will.

That's how you develop the genetics that will work, no pampering (excessive supplementation) and culling. If they don;t do the job they need to relocate. The original selection criteria gets the whole program started on the right track.

dun
 

ollie

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Dun, I agree with you but the original selection criteria has already been made. Your advice may leave him with awful thin heifers if they are not grass kind.
 

hillbilly

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I think the 15# rate is way to high for replacment heifers, and would make them high dollar fat heifers.
With the rye you probaly dont even need to feed, but we feed 2-3# per day from weaning to breeding, from 8 to 14 months.

They are pretty wild before weaning so it gives me an opportunity to be around them in close quarters for 6 months, most stay pretty tame after that.

Hillbilly
 
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IndianCreekcowboy

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Exactly what I'm trying to do hillbilly, let them know what grain is; that way they chase me instead of me chasing them. I only plan to feed them till my ryegrass is ready. I know 15 lbs. seems like alot to me too, but I thought I read somewhere 3% of bodyweight?
 

hillbilly

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IndianCreekcowboy":anajc1g3 said:
Exactly what I'm trying to do hillbilly, let them know what grain is; that way they chase me instead of me chasing them. I only plan to feed them till my ryegrass is ready. I know 15 lbs. seems like alot to me too, but I thought I read somewhere 3% of bodyweight?


Don't want to get replacements fat! Any fat in an undeveloped udder stays there for life and reduces milk as a cow.
Less feed, good hay & that rye grass down the road, if they got good blood they will make your 1.5# easy.

Hillbilly
 

dun

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IndianCreekcowboy":27yisce4 said:
Exactly what I'm trying to do hillbilly, let them know what grain is; that way they chase me instead of me chasing them. I only plan to feed them till my ryegrass is ready. I know 15 lbs. seems like alot to me too, but I thought I read somewhere 3% of bodyweight?

When we're fattening to butcher we only go to 2% of their body weight in grain.
You might want to go to the site attached and download "cowculator", it should give you better idea of what to feed

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/cowculator/

dun
 

Scotty

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I think you should feed supplements base on conditions. If the grass they are on gives them the amount of say protein then I would not feed any extra. But if the grass only gives them 1/2 then you must make up for that. My opinion is that there is no sure rule of thumb on what exactly. I would like my cows all a a score of 5 and my heifers at 6. This could be different for northern people. Also remeber that at a young age of say 12-20 months(not always.) their stomachs may not handle hot rations. So one could posibly be hurting him or herself.
Hope I could help.

Always learning,
Scotty
 

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