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The key revenue aspect of the Dairy Calving systems is to produce heifers that will mature healthily and be able to be bred and produce a first calf around 2 years of age. With the production of the calf, the now cow will begin producing milk at an ideally exponential level, leading to her success on the dairy farm.

In order to be successful, dairy calves need to obtain adequate nutrition in order to grow readily and gain a certain amount of weight each day in order to reach puberty at an appropriate and age-effective time to start her true entrance into the sustainability of the herd and her success (The Bullvine).

With the growth of a heifer reaching appropriate points in her life cycle, she will be more successful in the long run, as larger and easily kept heifers will likely be able to produce milk at a higher rate than their growth challenged counterparts. Owning dairy calves begins with taking a monetary loss on that specific calf as you have to pay to raise it until it produces its first calf and you will not be making money off of that heifer until she begins to produce milk around two years down the line (Minnesota Dairy Team).

While you are allowing the calf to grow and reach sexual maturity, it is paramount to ensure that the calf is cared for and kept healthy in order to keep costs down. In doing so, it is important to make sure the calf receives colostrum when born, is kept in a relatively clean environment, and keeping biosecurity on the forefront of the operation to allow the calves to grow into healthy heifers who will go on to join your production herd.

References

http://www.thebullvine.com/management/dairy-farmers-need-key-performance-indicators/

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/dairy/calves-and-heifers/raising-dairy-heifer-calves-from-bith-to-six-months.pdf

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