First Calf Heifers/ Nutrition
Feeding First Calf Females?
Calving has already started for most of us. First calf heifers are the future brood cows of our herd. However, they require alot more time, effort, and nutrition to make it to being productive cows for the long haul. For first-calf heifers, calving and lactation occur at a time when they are still growing themselves. These are major stressors that, if ignored, can lead to a lowered body condition score (BCS), delayed rebreeding or a smaller calf. First calf heifers do not neccesarily need more feed than cows but need higher quality feeds as they can not take in as much feed or forage as your mature cows. The first-calf-females post-calving need to consume a diet that is at least 62% TDN and 10% to 11% crude protein, depending on level of milk production. Therefore it is extremely important to consider the needs of these heifers and not skimp on their nutritional requirements so that they can become productive members of the herd.