Managing Maiden Heifers for ET

The best way to manage heifers is definitely to have them inside, particularly if the available grazing is fast growing, lush grass. Lush grass is high in protein and low in fibre and so can adversely affect embryo production.

High fibre forage is best (hay or stalky big bale silage) - early cut silage can be balanced with hay or straw.

A low level of supplementary feeding (about 1.5kg / day) should be given through the programme. A 16% protein coarse mix is ideal for supplementing high fibre forages and sugar beet pulp is excellent for donors at grass.

Beef breed donors programmed while being fed large amounts of concentrates for show preparation will not generally produce embryos.

Donors should be well mineralised for flushing and need a trace element boost through the programme. This can be achieved by feeding a good quality powdered mineral and dosing with trace element boluses such as Cosecure and Ionox.

Key Points

  • Ensure a high fibre diet by housing heifers, especially if the grass is lush.
  • Feed hay or stalky big bale silage. Balance early cut silage with hay or straw.
  • Supplement a low level (1.5kg /day) of 16% coarse mix or sugar beet pulp.
  • Provide access to a good standard mineral supplement.
  • Dose with trace element boluses, such as Cosecure and Ionox.