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Country Discussion Topics
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Bred heifers
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RichZ    Posted 10-23-2003 at 07:20:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am thinking of raising some Holstein bred heifers. Has anyone ever raised any? Do you have any tips? How many acres of pasture does each need?

I am located in upstate New York.


bulldinkie    Posted 10-23-2003 at 19:25:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have 40 acres with only 3/4 of it pasture and we raise registered texas longhorns. We have it divided off in to about 4 pastures.. also you want to give them mineral suppliments in winter they love them.We give ours sweet feed and hay.It was a great year here for pastures lush,green.In longhorns they like them to be 3 years to be bred.

Old Peddler    Posted 10-23-2003 at 17:14:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
A bred Holstein heifer would be around 18 mos old and is usually normal to have her first calf at 2 years old. Each bred heifer will be feeding herself and the calf she is carrying. Her weight will be around 1,000 to 1,200 lbs, maybe more. Another general rule of thumb is they will each need 2,000 to 3,000 lbs of hay to get through the winter. More hay and feed may be needed in your area as I am not familiar with your winter conditions. I would ask someone local that has been in the business several years. He can tell you more about the requirements needed for your area.

Good Luck!

Phil    Posted 10-23-2003 at 14:20:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
In my neck of the woods the rule of thumb is one animal unit per acre. If I remember correctly an animal unit is defined as 700 lbs of live weight so an acre could support one 700 lb animal, two 350 lbs animals, or seven 100 lb animals, etc.

Of course as already stated pasture conditions will affect the holding capacity.

Les    Posted 10-23-2003 at 12:11:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Only out west do you need to talk acres/animal. Here it would be cattle per acre.
But even 100 acres per head of cattle won't be enough to keep them through the next 6 months.

RichZ    Posted 10-23-2003 at 12:24:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Of course I intend to feed them in the fall and winter, I meant how much pasture do they require during the growing season.

Les    Posted 10-23-2003 at 12:38:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, I ain't really a cattle expert but it depends on the quality of the pasture. Good pasture I would think could at least support 4 or 5 heifers/acre.
But you should check with somebody who raises them or with the county extension people. They're always a big help in many situations.

Corey    Posted 10-23-2003 at 19:06:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
man! where do you all live? the grass must grow while you watch it! here in central oklahoma the land is average quality and you can get by with one cow per 10 to 20 acres year round, depending on how much land is useable,, trees and washouts dont count. of course you still gotta cake em in the winter and hay em too. If you have a small place you will have to feed and hay year round. with high protein feed such as 21% cubes you gotta feed them quite a bit of roughage, (hay) but the hay can be poor quality. I prefer to feed better quality hay and less of it and feed a lower protein feed such as a 12% sweet mix bought in bulk, which is cheaper than the cubes. I think this is more cost effective in the long run and I personaly think they keep weight better.

Les    Posted 10-23-2003 at 20:02:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I guess that's why you gotta have all them wide open spaces out your way. If I had to feed hay in the summer I'd find some other way to make a living. Hard to see how there's any profit in that.
He is in New York, I'm in New Hampshire. Yes, the grass just about does grow while you're watching it. And so do the trees. And it stays green all summer.
I saw a stump yesterday that had a ring that was 1" wide. It was a weeping willow but still, that gives you some idea of how things can grow around here. That tree was only 35 years old and was dang near 3' across on the stump.

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