Producing high quality replacement heifers at minimum cost will be one of the many challenges facing the dairy farm of the 21st century. Because replacement heifers represent a large portion of the total cost of milk production, dairy farmers will have to meet the replacement needs of their lactating herds at minimum cost to maintain the farm's profitability. To keep the US dairy industry competitive into the 21st century, researchers, extension, industry, and producers must examine the database of research in order to determine how to apply the known information to current production and research efforts. Important research is needed to improve the dairy heifers of the future. This review summarizes research of the past 12 yr related to dairy replacements and incorporates those findings into possible scenarios for future dairy calf and heifer management systems. Additional research is needed to determine how dairy replacement raising systems affect the lifetime productivity and profitability of the dairy cow.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology