Talking Heifer Development


In case you missed it…

Every other Thursday evening I co-host a twitter conversation all about forage and livestock. We’ve covered topics ranging from hay production and storage to heifer development and cattle grazing systems. It’s like a coffee shop where all the cattle and forage addicts come to hang out for an hour or so. Of course we have someone moderating the conversation to keep everyone on topic. Lord knows what stories we’d be sharing without the moderator…

Last night’s conversation was all about heifer development and their importance in building a productive cowherd. Here are a few of the questions so you can ruminate on them.

  1. How much importance do you place on heifers in building a quality cowherd? Do you retain or purchase these?
  2. Have you ever used a professional heifer development program? Are you aware of one in your area? Is it more cost efficient?
  3. What selection criteria do you use to choose replacements or culls?
  4. Heifers reach puberty at genetically determined weight/age. How do you manage heifers’ nutrition from weaning to breeding?
  5. How does breeding program, sires differ from general herd? Season dates? Length?
  6. What do you know about fetal programming during periods of nutritional, environmental stress? How can we influence this?
There were several cattle producers participating in the discussion, all with varying backgrounds and experience. Be sure to check out the #haytalk twitter feed to catch up on the ideas discussed. Our next #haytalk discussion will be Thursday, November 17 at 8p.m. central time. Be sure to check it out.
What are your thoughts on heifer development? Is it an important part of building a productive cattle herd?
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