The GrazCare advantage.
According to a study released by McNaughton and Lopdell in 2012, 73% of New Zealand heifers do not reach target liveweight at their first calving. For farmers looking to innovate and improve productivity the work starts with the weight. That’s where we come in.
An inability to reach liveweight targets may be due to a number of factors including, but not limited to:
- Inadequate calf rearing
- Poor husbandry
- Nutritional factors
- Internal and external parasites
- Trace element deficiencies
- Poor growth rates due to nutrition post-weaning
From the day a calf is born you have the ability to influence the factors contributing to their future productivity and profitability. This starts with rearing healthy calves and is followed by excellent heifer management to achieve liveweight targets. A heifer’s reproductive performance is directly related to her liveweight at her first mating and her first calving. Optimum weight at mating ensures that heifers cycle early, get in-calf and calve early and get back in calf as two year olds.
Our services are supported by VetEnt, with New Zealand’s largest veterinary network monitoring your animal’s health, the technical review of products used and the provision of qualified technicians a huge advantage to GrazCare clients.
VetEnt services include proactive vaccination programmes, worm programmes, dairy herd reproductive interventions and young stock programmes for our work at GrazCare. VetEnt can also provide a full range of medical and surgical services including ultrasound, orthopaedics, dentistry and other services when and where necessary.
By weighing stock on a regular basis we can determine any health problems at an early stage and treat them quickly. By achieving daily weight gains on a regular basis an animal will have the opportunity to reach its full potential when put into the milking herd or its ideal slaughter weight.
By setting bi-monthly targets the owner and grazier can track progress and make the necessary adjustments to the feeding levels. Individual animal targets are set so that specific attention can be given to each animal if required.
A well-grown heifer will give better production than a heifer that is poorly grown and in poor condition at calving. The money invested is therefore quickly regained when increased production is achieved in the first lactation. Reducing the number of ‘empty heifers’ at mating time is also a key advantage, as is the reduction in ‘empties’ when the heifer is being mated for the second time.
Weighing animals by an independent third party ensures a professional approach to achieving set goals and targets. A record of animal weights is then kept in a database for quick and easy access. Paying for each kilogram gained is a sure way to know your investment will count.