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Replacement Heifers

Cow-Calf Management Tips

Tips to think about:

  1. Don’t forget to make the main thing, the main thing. Your cows produce a calf and that calf is what you market to make money.  You need to keep your costs below your break-even to stay in business.
  2. Evaluate your beef management strategy annually and incorporate new ideas when they make sense, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure, UF/IFAS Extension Agents are here to help.
  3. When developing replacement heifers, they must
    1. Conceive early in the breeding season
    2. Calve early in the calving season
    3. Provide adequate milk (good mothers)
    4. Rebreed on time with mature cow herd
  4. Develop a professional relationship with a Large Animal Veterinarian and have them evaluate your herd health program to find out if you are protected against unwanted diseases. By having this working relationship there may be a better chance they’ll answer the phone when you call afterhours if they know your operation.
  5. Using reproductive technologies such as estrus synchronization, artificial insemination, and embryo transfer can be one of the quickest ways to improve your herd’s genetics.
  6. If you use artificial insemination, remember that your clean-up bull(s) may breed half of your herd, make sure you are happy with their genetics.
  7. Sorry bulls cost the same to feed as Good bulls. Only keep good bulls.
  8. Having all bulls (including clean-up bulls) evaluated for a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) prior to the breeding season is a great way to prevent problems before they occur.
  9. Check the pregnancy status of your cows and heifers 45 – 60 days after your breeding season is over and cull accordingly. Yearly maintenance cost per cow in the Southeastern United States can range from $500 to $650 per year.  If they are not producing a calf, they are costing you money.
  10. After calving, cows and heifers have the highest nutritional requirement in your herd; adjust their nutrition accordingly.

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