There are three basic heifer rearing options...
Stock on dairy farm or at a runoff
- High level of personal control.
- Managing multiple stock classes,
- Time consuming,
- May be consuming feed that would otherwise be available to dairy cows.
Contract growing stock to a grazier with a self-managed relationship to deliver stock performance.
- Someone else responsible for feeding and managing stock
- Direct contact with stock manager.
- Personal responsibility
- Time to complete checking on stock.
Contract growing stock to a grazier through a grazing company that mediates the relationship and manages stock performance
- Paying a specialist to manage the relationship between stock owner and the grazier to meet heifer targets
- Grazing companies can have wider networks to source grazing from
- Should supply regular weighing as part of the service.
- Variable results from grazing companies
- Most grazing companies still get paid even if stock do not end up well grown
- Payment system can be less straightforward
- Some stock owners have found that they have less access to viewing their stock if working through a third party.
Contract growing stock to a grazier with a self-managed relationship and a third party monitoring stock performance
- Stock are managed by a grazier but regularly weighed by an objective third party,
- Stock owner has direct access to stock manager.
- Responsibility still lies with the stock owner to make sure action is taken and targets are achieved.
Purchase in grown replacements prior to calving
- Simple, no stock to manage, can purchase animals that meet buyer needs.
- Exposure to market, biosecurity, time to source animals, ability to find genetic types desired.