The feeding and management of the heifer after weaning will depend on when the farmer wants the heifer to calve down, and enter the herd as a milking cow. This will depend on various factors, such as, the season of the year when he wants the heifer to calve, but generally the main factor is the size and weight of the heifer when it is bulled, because this will affect the size and weight when it calves down. Friesland heifers should weigh 340kg at bulling and 450kg when they calve down. Jersey heifers should weigh 210kg at bulling and should calve down at 32kg. The age at which the heifer will reach these weights will depend mostly on how it is fed while it is growing. To give an example, we will consider the feeding of two Friesland heifers, one of which calves down at 24 months (2 years old), and the other at 30 months (2½ years old).


Age Mass
5 weeksCalf moved from single pen to pen with other calves. Eating 1kg a day of calf meal + 10% roughage. Calf meal, hay and water offered ad lib.50kg
12 weeksCalf can be moved out of the calf house and into a paddock with some shelter.   Calf meal and roughage, ad lib, and should be eating 2kg initially, increasing to 4kg a day. In summer, the calf will start eating grass; in winter, feed hay or silage, starting with 2kg silage per day. Hay must be mixed at 20% with the calf meal and also fed separately ad lib.   At this stage, the calf can be put onto a calf grower mixture which is lower in protein, or onto the dairy mix that the cows are getting.80kg
20 weeksMeal should be restricted to 4kg per day, fed in two feeds. In winter, feed 4.5kg of hay a day or 12 kg of silage. Inject the calf against Contagious Abortion (C.A.) and Quarter Evil (Q.E.)130kg
14 monthsThe heifer should be bulled. Continue to feed 2kg of meal a day, and, in the winter, hay or silage.340kg
24 monthsThe heifer will calve down; for 6 weeks before calving, feed a ‘steaming up’ ration.450kg

Dose the calf for roundworms in November, February and March each year that it is on grass. The growth of the calf is shown on the graph below:

Figure 1: The Growth of a Calf up to 24 Months


This heifer should be treated like the other heifer up to 20 weeks old. At this stage, in the summer, it would be put onto grass without any extra feeding, and would get all its nutrients from the grass. In the winter, it would be put onto a ration which keeps it in the best possible condition the ration could include hay or silage, and a small amount of concentrates. At 21 months, it would weigh 340kg and would be bulled. At 30 months it would weigh 450kg and would calve down. Dosing and injections would be the same as for the other heifer.

Figure 2: the Growth of a Calf up to 30 Months

Some examples of Concentrate Mixtures

Calf Starter Mixture:  fed from a few days old to 12 weeks old, with 10% milled hay mixed in.

Also feed hay ad lib.

Ground Maize                –  40%

Rolled Oats                     –  27%

Soybean Meal                –  20%

Molasses                         –  10%

Dicalcium Phosphate  –  2%

Salt                                     –  1%


Trace Elements and Vitamins

Calf Grower Mixture: fed from 12 weeks old until bulling. Mix with 20% milled hay and hay ad-lib.

Ground Maize                –  72%

Soybean Meal                –  16%

Wheat Bran                     –  10%

Dicalcium Phosphate  –  1%

Salt                                     –  1%


Trace Elements and Vitamins


Ground Maize            90%

Beef Concentrate     10%


Trace Elements and Vitamins


Steers: young male cattle

Steer calves reared under Early Weaning systems are treated exactly like the heifer calves until they are 12 weeks old. At this stage, they can be put into paddocks, and, if it is winter, they should be fed concentrates and hay or silage. Once the grass starts growing, the concentrate can be reduced and after 2 – 3 weeks they can be left with grazing only. From then onwards, they can be treated like normal beef weaners on the farm.

An alternative is to feed the steers on a concentrate diet in yards or pens, until they are 12 months old, and ready for slaughter. This is an intensive system of feeding for beef production. The expected performance of beef on this type of system is shown on the graph below. The high energy concentrates fed from 5 months to 12 months is the normal concentrate fed to pen fattening cattle. Roughage must be provided in the form of hay or maize stover, and this should be placed in a separate trough so that the animals can help themselves to concentrate and roughage at any time. The steers will eat about 2 tons of concentrate, and can be marketed at 12 – 14 months old.

Figure 3: The Growth Rate of a Cow in Relation to Feed

Figure 4: Cattle been Fed in an Intensive System

Source: .megangarstecki.blogspot