Production and Associated Costs of Heifer Development (The Benchmark Values)

Producers consigned a combined total of 549 heifers from 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 to be developed from a weaned heifer calf to a bred replacement heifer. The heifers were spring born, with a typical birth date of mid March, represented a variety of breeds and crosses and were managed to reach 70% of their projected mature weight at breeding. Heifers were synchronized to facilitate AI during May. Following AI, heifers were exposed to cleanup bulls for a minimum of 45 days.

The heifers averaged 84.4 lbs at birth, 567 lbs at 205 days of age, 5.6 frame score with an estimated mature weight of 1220 lbs. Respiratory distress was the primary health problem requiring treatment, with foot rot the second most common health-related problem. Mortality was .73% with morbidity at 6.2% across all four years. The genetics and management of these heifers resulted in 92.6% of the heifers returning home pregnant. Overall, 42.9% were bred to AI service, 49.7% to natural service and 7.4% were open.

Heifer Development Costs (1995-96 not included):

1993 - 94 1994 - 95 1996 - 97
Feed Costs
Dry lot
Pasture
124.54
52.50
94.55
55.20
148.17
46.42
Yardage
Dry lot
Pasture
38.20
17.40
31.19
18.40
40.44
15.63
Breeding
Synchronization
AI Breeding Costs
Cleanup Bull
Preg. Diagnosis
4.67
17.46
12.38
2.00
3.55
17.72
13.26
2.00
4.37
17.84
16.80
2.00
Health
Vaccinations
Parasite Control
Treatments
3.97
3.65
2.21
4.13
2.60
2.93
4.85
3.25
.14
Miscellaneous
Total Misc. Costs
3.45 9.84 4.87
Total Development Costs 282.60 254.12 297.19