Farming

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In-calf heifers are failing to reach their target weight when they go to housing

In-calf heifers have struggled this year, with many failing to reach target weight at housing.

If not corrected before calving, a small first calver will produce less and be more likely to fall out of the herd due to its impact on calving interval.

With more than 60pc of the total birth weight of the calf being deposited during the last two months of pregnancy, farmers may be tempted to not feed on in-calf heifers due to the fear of producing a large calf.

However, this strategy will only reduce the growth rate of the heifer rather than the calf, and essentially increase the risk of calving dystocia.

Therefore, it's important to act now, while you have time before the last month of pregnancy.

Feed adequate amounts of meal with silage to in-calf heifers to get as close to the 90pc of mature liveweight she requires.

Make sure in-calf heifers have been also adequately dosed against worm, liver and stomach fluke.

Indo Farming