Give Your Heifer Replacements The Best Start With Fane Valley Feeds
22nd November 2018

It is crucial to have the correct management and nutritional program for rearing replacement heifers.
There are three key stages in a heifer’s development. Each of these stages correctly managed will increase growth rate and future production of your replacement heifers;

 These are;
 •  Calf management
 •  Development of the rumen
 •  Growing your heifer

Calf Management - Follow the three Q’s to maximise calf management.

Quality:
Ensure good quality colostrum by using a reflectrometer or Clostrometer. A balanced dry cow diet helps to increase quality colostrum.

Quickly:
A calf needs colostrum within the first hour after birth when the highest amount of absorption of immunoglobulins will occur as after 24 hours, little or no antibodies are absorbed.

Quantity:
The recommended amount of colostrum to feed is 10% of the body weight of the calf. A 40kg heifer calf needs four litres of colostrum within an hour of birth and another four litres in the next 18 hours.

Development of the Rumen
The weaning period is the most important time for the development of the rumen when calves should have a minimum daily intake of 1kg/head of concentrate, with fresh water and roughage at approximately 12 weeks of age. Calf starter pellets with correct levels of starch will promote the development and efficiency of the rumen papillae.

Fane Valley Feeds’ Calf Starter Pellets are specially formulated for the development of the rumen in calves. They consist of high levels of starch from maize and barley stimulating the development of rumen papillae and Actisaf yeast to encourage optimal bug growth. Formulated to 18% crude protein, the Fane Valley Calf Starter contains high quality protein sources such as soya and rapeseed which helps frame growth and muscle development. Fane Valley Feeds calf mineral boosts immunity and hoof health.

Growing Heifer
It is essential to get 0.8kgs/d daily live weight gain (DLWG) from birth to calving to result in heifers calving down at 600kgs from 22 - 24 months. To achieve this, feed a balanced diet and have silages tested. At Fane Valley Feeds, we balance all diets to achieve optimal growth and efficiency on farm.

Target Weights: Table 1 illustrates the target weights that heifers should reach when achieving a 24-month calving system.

Table 1. Heifer height and weight targets for Holstein and Friesian breeds.

To achieve this challenging DLWG the correct nutritional program needs to be implemented on farm.

Nutritional Program: The overall diet typically needs to be 10 - 10.5 MJ/kg of Dry Matter with an overall protein of 15%. Some silages will require extra supplementation.


Table 2 provides a guide to how much concentrates to feed at target weights to achieve 0.8 Kgs of Daily live weight gain.  

Table 2. Levels feed/head/day of Fane Valley Feeds heifer range for age and quality of forage.

Fane Valley Feeds Hi-Pro Heifer nuts and blend are ideally suited to feed with silage and straw diets or low protein silage diets. Hi-Pro Heifer is a 20% protein ration with high levels of Hi Pro Soya to optimise frame growth and udder development during the growing phase. Energy and starch from barley and maize develop the rumen, increasing feed conversion efficiency and growth rates. Fane Valley Feeds’ Elite Dairy Mineral package increases immunity, fertility and hoof health. Hi-Pro Heifer range has been designed to help achieve target weight at 24 months calving.

For further information on our range of products call Omagh: 028 8224 3221  Newry: 028 3026 2305