'Observing norms in the sale of maiden heifers is simply courtesy'
I AM writing in response to an open forum letter dated December 4, 2012, on the subject of in calf heifers.
While the author's intentions may be honourable, this letter is actually doing a disservice to farmers selling heifers that subsequently turn out to be in calf.
In this situation, it is generally accepted that it is the responsibility of the seller to ascertain as to whether the animals he is selling are pregnant at the point of sale.
If an animal is at a later stage proven to be pregnant at the point of selling again the norm is for the seller to take responsibility and compensate the buyer.
The opinion letter that I reference seems to contradict this well established and practiced principle.
Taking responsibility at an early stage is significantly less costly to all parties.
Young maiden heifers may not always show obvious signs of pregnancy until very close to calving. It is very difficult to visually detect pregnancy when these animals are being fed a high level of concentrate feed.
Feeding high levels of energy to a pregnant animal creates serious complications at the point of calving.