The benefits of calving heifers sooner

Published 1 December 15

Research by the Canadian Dairy Network has shown that decreasing Age at First Calving (AFC) can improve a cow’s lifetime profitability. The research looked at different breeds with results for Holsteins showing the most profitable AFC was 22 months, compared to a national average AFC of 26 months. The results suggest that calving a typical Holstein at 22 months compared to 26 months, increases lifetime profit per cow by approximately £440. This improvement in performance is attributed to a reduction in rearing costs and these animals producing more milk over their lifetimes.

Research carried out by AHDB Dairy estimated that the cost of rearing heifers increases by £2.87 per day, for each day increase in AFC. This research found that the average cost of rearing heifers was £1,820 and that reducing the AFC by two months to 24 months could decrease the total costs of rearing heifers by almost 16%. For more information, click here.