Six to Nine Month:
At six months of age calf are shifted into groups of 15.
The feeding regime suggested for the two to
six months age group can be continued, except that the concentrate
mixture should now contain 12-13% crude protein. Housing can be the
same as for the four to six month age group.
Ten Months to Breeding:
Heifers should be housed in small groups of 6 to 10 to reduce stress
and competition at the
feeding place. Heifers make satisfactory growth during this
age on good quality roughage alone. However in periods of scarcity
forage must be supplemented with 2-3 Kg concentrate per day.
Today’s heifer is to ultimately enter into
milking herd and the age at which heifer enters into a milking herd
depends upon its time of breeding which depends upon the age at
which heifer reaches puberty and comes into estrous. Age at puberty
is influenced by breed, season, feeding, and year of calving.
In many of the western countries, well-grown heifers can be bred at
13 to 15 months of age
and thus can enter the milking herd at 22 to 24 months of age.
The most important factor in governing the age at first estrous is
weight along with size. Heifers attain first estrous when attain
weight of 250 Kg. Buffalo heifers attain puberty at 400 Kg body
breeding age is to be attained by 13 to 15 months of age,
nutrition and management of the growing heifer
must be priorities.
Well-fed and managed heifers show
their first oestrus (puberty) at about 35% of their mature
Underfeeding of heifers delays oestrus.
Underfed or slow growing heifers may ovulate, but oestrus signs
are often suppressed.
Heifers in good condition and gaining
weight a breeding time generally shows more definite signs of
oestrus and have improved
conception rates over heifers in poor
condition or that are losing weight.
Overconditioned heifers require more
services per conception than heifers of normal weight and size.
Overfeeding during the prepubertal period is associated with
decrease in subsequent milk yield of about 10%
Heifers should be bred at 60% of mature weight so that they calve at
85% of mature weight.
Early breeding of heifers shortens the time from birth to lactation
and decreases the cost of managing a nonproducing heifer
and lifetime production is greater.
Delayed puberty is attributed to under feeding
and poor management conditions and also by season of birth in local
cows and buffalos. The possible reasons for subnormal weight gain
Adequate housing, splashing water twice give
better results specially in buffalo. They will gain weight and come
in estrous earlier.
Breeding system in our villages does not
consider the genetic worth of the animal. In the traditional system,
available bull is used and next generation may be deteriorate in
production. Proven bull should always used for breeding purposes to
boost production potential in next generation. Selection of bull
(contributes 50%) is very important in breeding than the female. The
best way for breeding is artificial insemination (AI) for which a
well trained AI technician must be called.