Calf measurements could determine if the animal is best suited for milking

Midwest Farm

(WFRV) – A project is underway in Wisconsin, to measure calves and follow them to maturity.
The results could help farmers make some management decisions that will benefit their bottom line.

“We are trying to determine as these calves get older if they will be a beef, dairy or something in the middle” explains Aerica Bjurstrom, Agriculture Agent for the University of Wisconsin Madison Division of Extension.

The team is making a baby book of sorts for calves. The goal is to find out if measurements taken at a young age can help predict the animals’ future use.

“When these calves are born 1/3 will be beef type, 1/3 dairy big and tall, long legs, grow forever and 1/3 in the middle” Bjurstrom explains.

The data could help farmers determine if a calf will be a good addition to their milking herd.
According to Bjurstrom “It costs about $2,000 to raise a heifer. They do not want to put money in to find out she is not a good producer”.

Some farms are choosing to breed their lower-end cows with beef so they get the lactation without adding to their herd.

The final weighing and measuring for this project will happen at 120 days.

If you are interested in participating in the project, reach out to your local UW Extension office.

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