UK heifers failing to reach second lactation - AHDB

Almost one-fifth of heifers failing to reach second lactation
calendar icon 9 March 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

A recent study with Reading University found that 17% of milking heifers exit the herd before their second lactation due to a variety of reasons, which vary from farm to farm, according to a recent report from AHDB

Decisions farmers make around fertility, feed, health, housing and grouping have a big impact on the longevity of herds, said the report.

Heifers feed more slowly, ruminate less, are lower in the pecking order, can be easily chased away from feed space or lying areas so need time to adjust.

In-calf heifers also require extra care since the soft tissues of the sole inside the hoof is thinnest in younger animals and around calving, increasing her risk of sole bruising and ulcers.

In response to the report, AHDB issued a list of tips to help farmers increase the longevity of their herds through improved heifer health.

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