I've written a number of entries about my family milk cow project. They're linked together -- you will find the first entry here.
To see the previous entry in this series, click here. To see the next entry click here.
I check her weight using the holstein weight tape I've got, and her weight now is ... 238! what? Ooops. one side of the tape is printed in kilograms, the other in pounds. Turning it over she's 519 pounds right now. So I go back to the chart.
The last time I checked her weight it was on April 6th,
and she weighed between 421 and 444 pounds, which was right on the
growth curve for an 8 month old heifer. A month later at 519lbs, shes gained (519-444) 75lbs over 47 days, for an ADG (Average Daily Gain) of 1.59lbs, which is right in the middle of the range I'm shooting for (1.5 and 1.7 pounds/day)
I'm a little amazed. I look at this cow every day, and I wouldn't have
guessed that she's grown 75lbs.
So this is mostly just a confirmation that things are going well. She's exactly where she should be at this age. This has been mostly painless, actually. The basic feeding regimen is as much hay or grass as she can eat, and 2lbs of dairy feed per day -- call it 2 to 3 quarts of feed, by volume. The hay/grass is free choice, the grain I feed in a small trough.
At this rate, I'll be at breeding weight in October of this year. That would have her calve in July, which is a pretty nice time of the year for me. No risk of flood, warm weather, good grass and at least 90 days before the cold-and-wet season. Sounds like a plan.
She tolerates my fussing with the tape with aplomb; she's much more interested in the green grass.
3 days ago