Pre-Breeding Considerations for the Development of Replacement Beef Heifers

Young heifers at the Range Cattle Research Station. These beef cows are all at least 3/4 Angus. They are part of an attempt to create a white Angus breed. During the summer the white cows, coined "white Angus" by the researchers in Ona, have a body temperature that is one degree cooler than the traditional black Angus. UF/IFAS Photo: Sally Lanigan.The efficiency of post-weaning development of heifers has a major impact on the overall profitability of cow-calf operations. To ensure satisfactory performance during the first breeding season, replacement heifers must be subjected to an adequate development program. This 3-page fact sheet covers age at puberty, nutrition, target body weight gain, pelvic area measurements, reproductive tract score, and herd health. Written by Pedro L. P. Fontes, Nicky Oosthuizen, Carla D. Sanford, and G. Cliff Lamb, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, November 2016.