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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 10 September 2014

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TheBeefSite
Wednesday 10th September 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Boost Production, Calve at Two Years Old

More heifers should be calving at two years of age providing management is right, British producers have been told.

Charlie Maclaren, a board member of the National Beef Association (NBA) has said that, given enough support, heifers can be serviced at 15 months.

Pedigree breeders are exceptions, timing calving at 28 or 36 months for shows and sales, as are hill breeds such as Galloway, Highlanders and Welsh Black.

Addressing the mainstream, he said: “In the modern day beef industry there is little room for calving at 3 years old.”

Using £1200 as a heifer rearing cost at two years, he questioned the expense of an additional non-productive third year.

However, this decision is ‘not to be taken lightly’, he added, listing a range of management techniques for assisting two year old heifers at first calving.

This is to combat higher stress levels, which treble when calving at two years old compared to three, according to US advisors.

The effect of age on calving stress is illustrated further by US thinking, which says a four year old cow has half the stress of a three year old in calving.

Two year olds require extra attention in calving and after, when the heifer requires energy to grow itself and the calf.

Mr Maclaren prescribed a 15 month weight of 400 to 420 kilos before calving down at 500 kilos.

In 2012, English Beef and Lamb Executive scientist Dr Mary Vickers gave a target bulling weight of 425 kilos – 65 per cent of a mature weight of 650 kilos.

This requires an average weight gain from birth of 0.9 kilos a days, said Dr Vickers, adding: “It is important that heifers have grown sufficient frame and have sufficient body condition (2.5-3) at breeding time. Ideally they should have had two oestrus cycles before the start of the breeding season.”

This was in response to British Cattle Movement Service Data showing average first calving age to be 34 months.

Further to weight targets, there are other key management strategies to make life easier for the first calving heifer, said Mr Maclaren.

Treat first time heifers as a separate batch, calving them earlier than the rest and at a target weight of over 500 kilos, he advised.

Weaning calves a month earlier, using creep feed if necessary, offers rest and growing time.

“These are just a few ideas but you have to look at your own system,” said Mr Maclaren.




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This Week's Articles and Analysis

EBBE - Epidemiological Tools for Herd Diagnosis
The veterinarian working with dairy herd health needs a set of tools to describe dynamic changes in the herd efficiently and to estimate the relations between input and output with sufficient validity and precision.

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Testing soil involves trying to answer more questions than ever now the science is expanding, says a feed and crops specialist in the US.

Contract Dairy Heifers for the Beef Sector
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Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Will Scotland's Independence Vote Impact Agriculture?
UK Feed Prices on the Way Up Again?
Updated Online Meat Industry Statistics Published
English Beef and Lamb Mark Reaches Ten Years
Badger Vaccinations to Curb Tuberculosis Spread

   Global

How Can Companies Improve Animal Welfare?
Progress on Buyback Programme Nutreco Shares
West African Ebola Outbreak Puts Sends Food Prices Skyrocketing
What are Climate Change's Implications for Agriculture?

   Brazil

Brazilian Meat Prices Continue to Rise

   New Zealand

New Zealanders Request More Ag Science Funding
2015 Overall Cattle Numbers Estimated to Rise
Rise in Theileria Cases Warrants Vet Help
Positive Outlook for New Zealand Sheep Beef Farmers

   United States

Agri Groups Release 'Waters of the US' Mapping Tool
CME: US Consumer-level Meat, Poultry Demand Strong in July
COOL Reform Dubbed 'Trojan Horse' by NFU President
Meat Exports Remain on a Strong Pace
Animal Alliance Releases Reports from 2014 Animal Rights Conferences
Cattle Futures: Live Cattle Close up $3 Limit to 4 Week High
Buying Corn Off the Growers Before Harvest

   Ireland

Teagasc Appoints Cattle Specialist for West, Midlands
Beef Crisis Pleas Taken to McDonald’s Door

   Iceland

Animal Welfare Improvements Needed in Icelandic Slaughterhouses

   China

Chinese Food Prices Rise

   India

India Reports Falling Livestock Numbers

   Serbia

Serbia Seventh Country With Bluetongue

   European Union

Italy and Romania Report More Blueongue as Over 300 Sheep Die
EU Animal Feed Body to Work Closer with Romania, Bulgaria

   Korea, South

Beef Becoming Dearer in Korea

   Australia

Australian Weekly Cattle Summary

   Sweden

Swedish Beef Price Surges in August

   Germany

Slaughterhouse Praised for Welfare

Events/Promotions

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The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
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