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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rebreeding the First Calf Heifer

Authors
item Funston, Richard - MONTANA EXTENSION SERVICE
item Geary, Thomas

Submitted to: Cow Calf Management Guide and Cattle Producer's Library
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1999
Publication Date: October 1, 1999
Citation: FUNSTON, R., GEARY, T.W. REBREEDING THE FIRST CALF HEIFER. COW CALF MANAGEMENT GUIDE AND CATTLE PRODUCER'S LIBRARY. 1999. p. 413.1-4.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of proper development and management of the first calf heifer to optimize her chances of rebreeding. Breeding heifers to calve 20 to 30 days ahead of the cows allows additional time for the heifer to recover from her period of anestrus before the start of the breeding season. A sound herd health program is essential and it is important to monitor calving to provide assistance in a timely manner. Heifers should receive a higher plane of nutrition during the last trimester of pregnancy through the breeding season and calve with a body condition score of 5 or 6. Use of ionophores has resulted in increased feed efficiency and has shortened the postpartum interval. Strategies including the use of progestins, GnRH, 48-hr calf removal and bull exposure are also discussed to shorten the postpartum interval.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of proper development and management of the first calf heifer to optimize her chances of rebreeding. Breeding heifers to calve 20 to 30 days ahead of the cows allows additional time for the heifer to recover from her period of anestrus before the start of the breeding season. A sound herd health program is essential and it is important to monitor calving to provide assistance in a timely manner. Heifers should receive a higher plane of nutrition during the last trimester of pregnancy through the breeding season and calve with a body condition score of 5 or 6. Use of ionophores has resulted in increased feed efficiency and has shortened the postpartum interval. Strategies including the use of progestins, GnRH, 48-hr calf removal and bull exposure are also discussed to shorten the postpartum interval.

Last Modified: 11/21/2014
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