Publication Date

2013 12:00 AM

Description

Most beef operations are reliant on the generation of replacement heifers. Replacement heifers are intended to replace old or non-productive cows, incorporate new and hopefully improved genetics into the herd, and be productive females as young cows and then subsequently deliver several more generations of calves. Thus, there are both short-term and long-term objectives when selecting and developing replacement beef heifers. As such, implementing proper selection criteria, growth and developmental strategies, health and nutritional management, and breeding programs for replacement beef heifers are essential to meet both short-term and long-term objectives of the operation. From a short-term standpoint, retaining and developing a replacement heifer represents a considerable investment. Failing to properly develop a young female may limit her ability to reach puberty, conceive, and calf. In addition, improper development can impede her ability to stay in the herd for more than a few years and impact her progenies performance. From a long-term perspective, the future genetic make-up of the cowherd is contingent on the decisions made when selecting and developing the replacement heifers. Thus, the genetic composition and production traits of the beef herd for the next seven to ten years is derived from heifer selection done today. This article focuses on targeted breeding systems to yield potential replacements, selection of replacements, and management practices and nutritional delivery for developing replacement beef heifers.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Replacement Female Strategies

Most beef operations are reliant on the generation of replacement heifers. Replacement heifers are intended to replace old or non-productive cows, incorporate new and hopefully improved genetics into the herd, and be productive females as young cows and then subsequently deliver several more generations of calves. Thus, there are both short-term and long-term objectives when selecting and developing replacement beef heifers. As such, implementing proper selection criteria, growth and developmental strategies, health and nutritional management, and breeding programs for replacement beef heifers are essential to meet both short-term and long-term objectives of the operation. From a short-term standpoint, retaining and developing a replacement heifer represents a considerable investment. Failing to properly develop a young female may limit her ability to reach puberty, conceive, and calf. In addition, improper development can impede her ability to stay in the herd for more than a few years and impact her progenies performance. From a long-term perspective, the future genetic make-up of the cowherd is contingent on the decisions made when selecting and developing the replacement heifers. Thus, the genetic composition and production traits of the beef herd for the next seven to ten years is derived from heifer selection done today. This article focuses on targeted breeding systems to yield potential replacements, selection of replacements, and management practices and nutritional delivery for developing replacement beef heifers.