Selecting Replacement Heifers

Selecting Replacement Heifers

Dr. Clyde Lane, Professor of Animal Science, University of Tennessee

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Beef cattle producers should use all available information when selecting replacement heifers.

Selecting a replacement heifer by appearance only is very risky. A heifer must be of the acceptable type if she is to be kept as a replacement, however, she must also have the genetic potential to produce a heavy calf. This is the reason that records must also be utilized when making the selection.

All available records should be used to insure that the better heifers are being considered as replacements. Consider using records such as those provided by The Beef Cattle fIRM Record Keeping Program. The heifer with the heaviest weaning weight may or may not be the best replacement heifer. A heavy, fat heifer at weaning is a poor choice as a replacement. The heifer must also be of an acceptable type.

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