Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 28

MANAGEMENT AFTER WEANING
As generally practiced with the transition period of a cow, gradual
steps should be employed with the weaning transition period for the calf.
Once milk is removed from the diet, calves should remain in individual
or group housing for 7 to 14 days to monitor health and starter intake
before moving to larger groups. Once calves are moved into larger postweaning groups, continue to provide a texturized, high starch grower feed
with chopped hay until approximately 4 months of age with adequate feed
bunk space (at least 12 inches per calf). It is common practice to restrict
grain intake to approximately 4 to 8 lb per day with free-choice access
to hay. However, restricting intake of more digestible grains in favor of
less digestible hay or other forages can limit growth potential of heifers
following weaning. It is good to have hay particle length reduced as the
rumen is still growing in volume and digestive capacity and longer particle
lengths can limit feed intake. Quality and digestibility of hay provided
should be moderately high, ranging from 14 to 16% CP and less than
60% NDF on a dry matter basis. Chopped forages should be restricted to
5 to 10% of the diet depending on its quality (5% when using straw and
10% when using grass hay). Alfalfa hay can pose a problem as stems can
be unpalatable and easily sorted out, resulting in wasted forage and an
unbalanced diet.

It is also important to remember that you can only manage what you
measure. Obtaining accurate body weights with a platform scale is
preferred, but using body weight tapes to determine weight gain from birth
to 4 months of age (and beyond) is a helpful tool to gauge heifer growth
to calving. While growth in body weight to weaning can be indicative
of a successful milk feeding program, factoring performance during the
weaning transition and growth from birth to 4 months of age may give a
better indication of the overall success of a heifer feeding program.
© 2015 Provimi North America, Inc.
Information provided is general in nature and is provided without
guarantee as to results. The information is not intended to be, and should
not be construed as legal advice.

GAUGING THE SUCCESS OF YOUR HEIFER FEEDING PROGRAM
Target growth rates:
* Post-weaning to 4 months: Target 2.0 to 2.2 lb per day of ADG in
order to attain at least 300 lb of body weight by 4 months of age.
* 4 months to puberty/breeding: ADG should be targeted at 1.8 lb per
day to ensure reaching 55% of mature body weight by breeding and
prevent excess fat deposition in the mammary gland.
* Birth to first-calving: ADG should be targeted at 1.8 lb per day,
which would typically result in heifers calving at approximately 24
months of age and 90% of mature body weight.

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28

Perspectives Magazine

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Perspectives - Winter 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Winter 2016

Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover1
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover2
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 4
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 5
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 6
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 7
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 8
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 9
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 10
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Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 15
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Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 27
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 28
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Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 30
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Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 45
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 46
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover3
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover4
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