- news, features, articles and disease information for the cattle industry

TheBeefSite Newsletter - 10 September 2014

You are receiving this email as you are a subscriber of
The home of premium international beef news and information.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Wednesday 10th September 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Boost Production, Calve at Two Years Old

More heifers should be calving at two years of age providing management is right, British producers have been told.

Charlie Maclaren, a board member of the National Beef Association (NBA) has said that, given enough support, heifers can be serviced at 15 months.

Pedigree breeders are exceptions, timing calving at 28 or 36 months for shows and sales, as are hill breeds such as Galloway, Highlanders and Welsh Black.

Addressing the mainstream, he said: “In the modern day beef industry there is little room for calving at 3 years old.”

Using £1200 as a heifer rearing cost at two years, he questioned the expense of an additional non-productive third year.

However, this decision is ‘not to be taken lightly’, he added, listing a range of management techniques for assisting two year old heifers at first calving.

This is to combat higher stress levels, which treble when calving at two years old compared to three, according to US advisors.

The effect of age on calving stress is illustrated further by US thinking, which says a four year old cow has half the stress of a three year old in calving.

Two year olds require extra attention in calving and after, when the heifer requires energy to grow itself and the calf.

Mr Maclaren prescribed a 15 month weight of 400 to 420 kilos before calving down at 500 kilos.

In 2012, English Beef and Lamb Executive scientist Dr Mary Vickers gave a target bulling weight of 425 kilos – 65 per cent of a mature weight of 650 kilos.

This requires an average weight gain from birth of 0.9 kilos a days, said Dr Vickers, adding: “It is important that heifers have grown sufficient frame and have sufficient body condition (2.5-3) at breeding time. Ideally they should have had two oestrus cycles before the start of the breeding season.”

This was in response to British Cattle Movement Service Data showing average first calving age to be 34 months.

Further to weight targets, there are other key management strategies to make life easier for the first calving heifer, said Mr Maclaren.

Treat first time heifers as a separate batch, calving them earlier than the rest and at a target weight of over 500 kilos, he advised.

Weaning calves a month earlier, using creep feed if necessary, offers rest and growing time.

“These are just a few ideas but you have to look at your own system,” said Mr Maclaren.

Featured Book of the Week


Cows send out signals continuously about their health, wellbeing, nutrition and production. The challenge for every dairy farmer is how to interpret these signals and use them. Knowing what to look for enables farmers to pick up these signals everywhere and anytime. Cow Signals explains how to identify these cues.

Order Now

This Week's Articles and Analysis

EBBE - Epidemiological Tools for Herd Diagnosis
The veterinarian working with dairy herd health needs a set of tools to describe dynamic changes in the herd efficiently and to estimate the relations between input and output with sufficient validity and precision.

What Should We Be Measuring in Soils?
Testing soil involves trying to answer more questions than ever now the science is expanding, says a feed and crops specialist in the US.

Contract Dairy Heifers for the Beef Sector
Dairy heifers will be seen on beef farms as Europe's dairy sector expands post quota removal contract heifer rearing grows, predict Irish advisors.

Weaning Considerations: Reduce Stress to Minimize Shrink
A lot of pressure goes on an animal as it is weaned and marketed, resulting in weight-loss or shrink, which cannot be avoided entirely but can be minimized.

Company News

Work with Your Vet to Prevent Common Problems, Urges BVA
UK - The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is encouraging farmers to work proactively with their vet to avoid common health concerns such as musculoskeletal conditions, infertility and mastitis.
Market Reports

USDA GAIN: Paraguay Livestock and Products Annual 2014
USDA GAIN: Ukraine Livestock and Products Annual 2014
USDA GAIN: Uruguay Livestock and Products Annual 2014
EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 5 September 2014
USDA GAIN: New Zealand Livestock and Products Annual 2014
GB Animal Feed Statistical Notice - July 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Will Scotland's Independence Vote Impact Agriculture?
UK Feed Prices on the Way Up Again?
Updated Online Meat Industry Statistics Published
English Beef and Lamb Mark Reaches Ten Years
Badger Vaccinations to Curb Tuberculosis Spread


How Can Companies Improve Animal Welfare?
Progress on Buyback Programme Nutreco Shares
West African Ebola Outbreak Puts Sends Food Prices Skyrocketing
What are Climate Change's Implications for Agriculture?


Brazilian Meat Prices Continue to Rise

   New Zealand

New Zealanders Request More Ag Science Funding
2015 Overall Cattle Numbers Estimated to Rise
Rise in Theileria Cases Warrants Vet Help
Positive Outlook for New Zealand Sheep Beef Farmers

   United States

Agri Groups Release 'Waters of the US' Mapping Tool
CME: US Consumer-level Meat, Poultry Demand Strong in July
COOL Reform Dubbed 'Trojan Horse' by NFU President
Meat Exports Remain on a Strong Pace
Animal Alliance Releases Reports from 2014 Animal Rights Conferences
Cattle Futures: Live Cattle Close up $3 Limit to 4 Week High
Buying Corn Off the Growers Before Harvest


Teagasc Appoints Cattle Specialist for West, Midlands
Beef Crisis Pleas Taken to McDonald’s Door


Animal Welfare Improvements Needed in Icelandic Slaughterhouses


Chinese Food Prices Rise


India Reports Falling Livestock Numbers


Serbia Seventh Country With Bluetongue

   European Union

Italy and Romania Report More Blueongue as Over 300 Sheep Die
EU Animal Feed Body to Work Closer with Romania, Bulgaria

   Korea, South

Beef Becoming Dearer in Korea


Australian Weekly Cattle Summary


Swedish Beef Price Surges in August


Slaughterhouse Praised for Welfare


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
VIV Europe Digital 2014
VIV China 2014
EuroTier 2014



Life Technologies
Biomin - The Natural Way
More on VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

The Pig, Poultry, Beef, Fish, Dairy, Meat, Cattle, Crop & Bioenergy Sites From 5M Publishing From 5M Publishing

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences


Seasonal Picks