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Well-Grown Heifers Bring More Value


When it comes to raising ideal replacement dairy heifers, it’s a delicate dance between cost and quality, according to two presenters at the recent 2023 Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Annual Conference.


“Custom heifer growers don’t go out of business because they’re too expensive,” declared Paul Dyk, nutritionist with GPS Dairy Consulting. Rather, he said dairy owners leave custom growers when they deliver poor-quality animals at freshening. In short, rearing costs aren’t everything when it comes to raising high-quality replacements.


Dyk’s sentiments were echoed by Dr. Michael Overton, technical services veterinarian for Zoetis. Overton said previous industry trends of trying to shave heifer-rearing expenses via both cheap feedstuffs and early calving age now are being called into question.

By MAUREEN HANSON

May 4, 2023

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