Programs for Raising Dairy Heifers

Dr. Allen Young
USU Extension Dairy Specialist

I occasionally receive questions about programs that might be available to track growth rates in dairy heifers. In the past I have used the programs from Penn State University, but the recent Proceeding from the National Dairy Calf and Heifer Contest listed several others that may also be of interest. They are:

a. Penn State University � scroll down until you find the spreadsheet of interest. You can compute average daily gain, as well as graph individuals and groups of heifers for any breed.

b. Midwest Plan Service � search for Raising Dairy Replacements (cost of the package is $45, which includes several pieces of software plus written materials).

c. Dairy Sight � Dairy Heifer Growth Applet. This is an on-line site where you can enter data and maintain the database on an internet site. The growth curves generated use the Penn State equations. You have to register to use the site and can either get the first month free as a trial period or pay $10 for unlimited use for 6 months.

d. Penn State CalfTrack Calf Management System � this is available through Land O�Lakes Animal Milk Products, Inc.

Monitoring growth of dairy heifers should be a high priority for all dairy farmers. These programs can make it much easier to see which groups or animals are growing as they should. ©