Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies

Makin momma cows: Part 4 of 4

This topic is not broken down into four parts for fun. Heifer development takes careful thought and precision-like execution. Previous blogs have talked about the steps leading up to breeding. This post will discuss options in breeding replacement heifers.

Recent research has shown the importance of heifers conceiving early in the breeding season. It is proven that heifers that conceive earlier in the season will experience more longevity in the herd and produce more pounds of beef in their lifetime. Those are two huge contributors to profitability.

How do you get more heifers bred earlier in the season? Estrus synchronization is a valuable tool to help front-end load your calving season. There are numerous synchronization protocols approved for use in heifers. Depending on your operation, you may prioritize your synchronization differently. How many times can you run them through a chute? Are you breeding naturally? Can you feed MGA effectively? These are all questions that need to be answered as you choose which synchronization protocol works for you.

The protocol that I particularly like for heifers is the "14 Day CIDR – PG." This protocol requires more lead time than others, but offers an opportunity to combine herd health and breeding into one package. Pre-breeding shots can be given on Day 0 and Day 14, which corresponds with insertion and removal of the CIDR. This protocol can incorporate heat checking or timed-AI.

Utilizing proven calving-ease AI bulls can also be a benefit of synchronization. Not all producers have the facilities or labor to incorporate AI, but some AI companies offer full-service breeding to allow you to incorporate this technology. Using proven calving-ease bulls can decrease calving problems. Many bulls can offer improvements in growth and carcass traits while increasing calving ease when compared to a walking sire. Improving genetics, front-end loading calving season, incorporating proven calving ease, and improving herd health can be additive strategies to increase profits in your herd.

Correct decisions and proper implementation of a heifer development program can put you in position to become a more profitable cattle operation.

Please share this article with your friends!
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter


Email will not display publicly, it is used only for validating comment