Ensure proper nutrition is the first step to keep the calves growing and achieve their full potential. With that being said, it is equally important to collect and review heifer data in order to improve performance of the herd.
Here are some tips on collecting heifer data:
1) Gathering baseline numbers
Measure the weights and hip heights during:
4 - 6 months
2) Setting goals
Compare the weights and heights of your herd to the industry standards. Does your herd meet or exceed those benchmarks?
If it does not meet the benchmark, it is important to find out why and rectify such problems.
3) Measuring progress
It is important to evaluate goals regularly. If it is not possible to monitor for all heifers, focus on the youngest one.
It is also crucial not to overlook evaluating:
Heifer pregnancy rate
First lactation milk production
4) Calculating success
It is important to evaluate the data collected to find out how successful is your heifer raising program over time. Is the cost per pound of weight gain getting less? Can you improve the current results?