It’s vitally important that the next generation of milking cows don’t fall between two stools in the quieter part of the year. Now that breeding season is drawing closer to its completion, the focus should be on the class of 2025 to ensure replacement heifer target weights are achieved over the next number of months.

Hitting target weights at certain milestones is crucial to ensure replacement heifers are on course to achieve the main goal of being 60% of their mature weight when bred at 15 months. Ideally at this point, 2024 born calves will have adjusted to a grass based diet without set-backs and the transition period has gone smoothly.

For many the decision on reducing or removing supplementary concentrates will be made shortly ~ end of June, early July. However, this decision should hinge on current weights relative to target, grass availability/quality and/or their transition to grass and grazing. Abrupt changes should be avoided, and gradual reductions advised.

Weighing scales are by far one of the most underutilised management tools on farm. Timing of weighing can also be beneficial. By weighing mid-season, compared to just at the point of housing, allows farmers to identify heifers that are behind target. The best advice is to group accordingly and make alternative plans for those heifers under target weights.

The threshold figure for 2024 spring born weanling heifers is approximately 200kg in mid-September (33% of an assumed mature weight of 600kg). Heifers that are lighter than this should be separated and given priority access to the highest quality grass and re-introduce concentrates depending on their weight relative to the herds target. Parasite burdens and their control can have a major influence on performance mid-summer for 1st season grazers. A herd health plan for parasite issues/control
should be discussed on a herd-by-herd basis with your veterinary practitioner.

For further advice, contact your local Agritech Sales Advisor or visit

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