Profitability of calving heifers at 2 compared with 3 years of age and the effect of incidence of assistance at parturition on profitability

TitleProfitability of calving heifers at 2 compared with 3 years of age and the effect of incidence of assistance at parturition on profitability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHickson, R E., Lopez-Villalobos N., Kenyon P R., Ridler B.J., and Morris S T.
JournalAnimal Production Science
Volume50
Issue6
Pagination354 - 358
Date Published2010
ISBN Number18360939 (ISSN)
Keywordsdystocia
Abstract

There is potential to increase the profitability of beef-breeding cows in New Zealand by calving heifers for the first time at 2 instead of 3 years of age; however, calving at this earlier age is often associated with an increase in assistance at calving. This study used a simulated farm system within the Grazing Systems Model to estimate the profitability of calving heifers at 2 years of age with various incidences of assistance at calving. Annual profit from the beef cattle herd was greater for primiparous 2-year-old heifers than for 3-year-old primiparous heifers when the incidence of assisted calving in 2-year-old heifers was less than 89%. Replacement rate increased with increased assistance at parturition. These results indicated that a considerable gain in profitability could be made by calving heifers for the first time at 2 instead of 3 years of age, and further gains could be made in herds already calving heifers at 2 years of age by reducing the incidence of assistance at calving. © 2010 CSIRO.

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