Heifer production

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Heifer production

Postby Proverbs 12:10 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:29 pm

I'm a long time beef cow/calf producer here in Texas but recently had a venture into the dairy business. Thru an organization we purchased 10 holstein heifers in Uganda, Africa where they are being milked. We were taking some risk here because we had no EPDs on the lineage of these heifers but we watched the actually milking of the dams of these calves over a period of several days to verify what they were projecting. They were producing 4.5-5.5 gallons per day. We could not verify the capabilities of the bull to pass on milking ability. Here's the rub: the heifers are calving now but only producing on average 3 gallons per day of milk. My local guys are saying that this is normal for heifers and that they will get to a higher level on the 2nd and 3rd calves. These heifers are calving at just over 2 years of age. I know from my experience that heifers will not produce as well until they are full grown but this is a big difference. What do you guys think? Can they get to the 5 gallon production? Thanks!
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:45 pm

What and how are they being fed ? Are they just grazing grass ?
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Re: Heifer production

Postby Proverbs 12:10 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:05 pm

They are grazing pasture of elephant grass and a legume know as desmodium. They also get a couple lbs. a day of a grain mixture that I trying to verify the ingredients.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:38 pm

Finally found a URL that gives some info .
http://www.igad-lpi.org/publication/doc ... _08_MK.pdf

Sorry, I am not familiar with the country at all . I am assuming that the lower milk production has to do with feed intake and the environment they are in.

I cannot copy any of the info . From what I read it does not look like dairy is a very lucrative industry there .
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:53 pm

Found another likk.
http://www.dairymailafrica.co.za/images ... lement.pdf

Cannot find out if Uganda has a Holstein association.

Here is another one , maybe you can decipher the annul milk production to a cows daily average .
http://www.fao.org/docrep/T3080T/t3080T04.htm

The original link I gave you has the annual milk production per cow per lactation in it so you will have an idea of where your production is at.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby regolith » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:37 am

I've been told a heifer calving at 2 years should produce 80% of her mature yield. She'll reach her peak at around five to six years old.

HD - I didn't realise the US gallon wasn't 4.5 litres, which makes it harder for me to accurately convert to a production I can understand.
My grass-fed cows start their lactation very slow - and I expect that. I don't know why it is but it's only the higher producers that do more than 10 - 15 litres in the first few days, then they'll climb to a peak nearer 18 - 20 litres (herd average) which they can sustain until feed quality or quantity declines about four months later.
So possibly if they're just calving now, they're still picking up speed.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Don't ask me Rego lol. I have a hard time converting metric to imperial too lol. :help: Was hoping TB would have jumped in here by now or Nova.

If I have done it right they are right on track for what is par for the area and for Holstein heifers there, maybe even a little better.

Hubby is not home or I would have got him to convert it for me, them foreigners get taught all sorts of stuff in school .. :lol2: :P
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Re: Heifer production

Postby vclavin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:40 pm

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Re: Heifer production

Postby Proverbs 12:10 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:13 pm

Thanks for the replies and research. There is a lot of helpful information in those docs. We are focused on the forage and supplement analysis to see what we can do there. We had calculated that at 5-6 gallons per day(19-23 liters/day) we can put 1 student through school per 3 milkers. Obviously, at 3 gallons we that number will be reduced.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby Dixieangus » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:30 pm

Just curious as to why you have 10 holsteins in AFRICA?
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:24 pm

Proverbs 12:10 wrote:Thanks for the replies and research. There is a lot of helpful information in those docs. We are focused on the forage and supplement analysis to see what we can do there. We had calculated that at 5-6 gallons per day(19-23 liters/day) we can put 1 student through school per 3 milkers. Obviously, at 3 gallons we that number will be reduced.


You are very welcome, just wish I could have been more helpful. So you are putting a student through school in Uganda ?
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Re: Heifer production

Postby TexasBred » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:48 am

Don't ask me about liters, hectares or anything "imperial" or whatever you call it. I do use a lot of mg., ppm's, ppb's and gr. but everything else is ounces, pounds, quarts, gallons and acres. The link Val posted should help. I do know that a regular beer can contains "12" ounces and a good drink contains 1 or 2 "shots". . lolol.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby Proverbs 12:10 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:04 am

Dixieangus wrote:Just curious as to why you have 10 holsteins in AFRICA?


After much research we determined that 5/8 holstein and 3/8 local zebu seems to work the best in sub-sahara africa. However, some local dairies run 100% holstein effectively. No local adapted breeds can produce enough milk to be profitable.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby Proverbs 12:10 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:09 am

hillsdown wrote:
Proverbs 12:10 wrote:Thanks for the replies and research. There is a lot of helpful information in those docs. We are focused on the forage and supplement analysis to see what we can do there. We had calculated that at 5-6 gallons per day(19-23 liters/day) we can put 1 student through school per 3 milkers. Obviously, at 3 gallons we that number will be reduced.


You are very welcome, just wish I could have been more helpful. So you are putting a student through school in Uganda ?


I'm involved with an African discipleship ministry that works with orphans and college aged kids. I'm headed back over in September to help them get this dairy up and running. We've got 10 wonderful college kids with extremely difficult backgrounds who are currently in the program. Our goal here is to get the program self sustainable through the dairy so we don't have to rely on donations from the US to keep it going.
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Re: Heifer production

Postby hillsdown » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:13 pm

Proverbs 12:10 wrote:
hillsdown wrote:
Proverbs 12:10 wrote:Thanks for the replies and research. There is a lot of helpful information in those docs. We are focused on the forage and supplement analysis to see what we can do there. We had calculated that at 5-6 gallons per day(19-23 liters/day) we can put 1 student through school per 3 milkers. Obviously, at 3 gallons we that number will be reduced.


You are very welcome, just wish I could have been more helpful. So you are putting a student through school in Uganda ?


I'm involved with an African discipleship ministry that works with orphans and college aged kids. I'm headed back over in September to help them get this dairy up and running. We've got 10 wonderful college kids with extremely difficult backgrounds who are currently in the program. Our goal here is to get the program self sustainable through the dairy so we don't have to rely on donations from the US to keep it going.


That is incredible and very noble, sounds like you are just the break that those kids need in life . Best of luck and God Bless . :)

Please keep us updated on your students and how the dairy is doing .
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