Te Puke

System Type: 3
Bay of Plenty
Last Update:
16 May 2018

DairyNZ Comment:

16 May 2018
  • Feeding and nutrition is vital for the growth of young heifers.  Well-grown heifers will produce more milk, compete better with mature cows and survive longer in the herd.

    Heifer liveweight gain is the best indication that their dietary requirements, as well as adequate minerals and water are being met.  You should focus on meeting key liveweight targets, rather than a particular pattern of weight gain.  Nutrition pre-puberty (before 50% mature liveweight) is where skeletal growth is influenced.  From now until 15 months of age, focus on achieving puberty (43-47% mature liveweight) one to two months pre-mating and ensure that growth is continued through to mating (60% mature liveweight) to ensure optimum conception rates are achieved.  By 22 months of age (now for first calving heifers), they should be 90% of mature liveweight and 5.5 body condition score by the time they are due to calve.

    If pasture is limited, it can be cost effective to feed heifers crops and supplements, but the choice of crop or supplement is more important for this age group.  It may be justified if they are behind their liveweight targets, as we’re talking about lifetime production impacts if they don’t meet required targets by the time they calve for the first time.  Shorter term supplement feeding can also be beneficial if it helps increase pasture growth rates to fill feed shortfalls and reduce the amount of supplement needed overall

    Remember that crops and supplements typically require a transition period to allow the rumen to adapt.  Supplements are often higher dry matter than pasture so make sure sufficient water is available.  Not providing adequate access to water will depress their growth rates and is also a risk to animal welfare.

    Heifers represent the future of your dairy herd.  The importance of meeting liveweight and body condition score targets cannot be emphasised enough. You do have a reduced window for the first calving heifers, so time is of the essence if action is needed.  You do have another year for this seasons calves, but they can’t afford to be too far away from where they should be currently.

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  • Date Collected

    16 May 2018

  • Soil temp


  • Growth

    37 kgs DM/day

  • APC

    2498 kgs DM/ha

  • Rainfall

    60 mm

  • BCS


  • % in milk

    0 %

  • MS/cow

    0 kgs

  • MS/ha

    0 kgs

  • MS/ha YTD

    1132 kgs

  • Rotation

    50 days

  • MS/cow YTD

    - kgs

  • Nitrogen YTD

    158 kgs/ha

  • Supplements

    4.0 kgs/cow/day

  • Supplements YTD

    787 kgs/cow/day

  • Weight Gain

    - kgs/day

  • Stocking Rate

    2.34 su/ha

  • Crude Protein Level


  • MJME


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