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dc.contributor.authorBoulton, ACen_US
dc.contributor.authorRushton, Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorWathes, DCen_US
dc.date.available2015-04-10en_US
dc.date.issued2015-04-10en_US
dc.identifierhttp://www.scirp.org/journal/ojas/en_US
dc.identifier.citationOpen Journal of Animal Sciences, 2015, 5 (2), pp. 185 - 197 (12)en_US
dc.identifier.issn2161-7597en_US
dc.description.abstractThere are many inputs into the dairy replacement herd which impact not only on the cost of rearing heifers from birth to first calving, but also on their future longevity and production potential. This study determined the current cost of rearing dairy heifers in the UK through the calculation and analysis of individual costs on a subset of 102 UK dairy farms. Each farm was visited and an extensive heifer rearing questionnaire was completed. Current heifer rearing practices were recorded to provide insight into critical management decisions. A cost analysis workbook was developed to calculate the costs of inputs in the pre-weaning period for labour, calving, feed, housing, health treatments and vaccinations, waste storage, machinery and equipment, and utilities. The average age at weaning was 62 d. The mean cost of rearing from birth to weaning was £195.19 per heifer with a mean daily cost of £3.14 (excluding the opportunity cost of the calf). This ranged from £1.68 to £6.11 among farms, reflecting major differences in management strategies and efficiency. The highest contribution to total costs came from feed (colostrum, milk, starter and forage) at 48.5% with milk feeding making up the greatest proportion of this at 37.3%. The next major expenses were bedding and labour, contributing 12.3% and 11.2% respectively. Unsurprisingly, delaying age at weaning increased total cost by £3.53 per day. Total costs were on average 45% higher on organic farms than conventional due to higher feed costs and later weaning. Calving pattern also had a strong association with the total cost being lowest with spring calving, intermediate with autumn calving and highest in multi block and all year round calving herds.en_US
dc.format.extent185 - 197 (12)en_US
dc.languageEnglishen_US
dc.publisherScientific Research Publishingen_US
dc.relation.urihttp://file.scirp.org/pdf/OJAS_2015041013362215.pdfen_US
dc.rightsCopyright © 201 5 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY)
dc.rights.urihttp://www.scirp.org/journal/ojas/en_US
dc.subjectWeaningen_US
dc.subjectHeiferen_US
dc.subjectCost analysisen_US
dc.titleA study of dairy heifer rearing practices from birth to weaning and their associated costs on UK dairy farmsen_US
dc.typeJournal Article
dc.citation.volume5en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.4236/ojas.2015.52021en_US
dc.description.confidentialfalseen_US
dc.identifier.elements-id290994
dc.relation.isPartOfOpen Journal of Animal Sciencesen_US
dc.citation.issue2en_US
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University/College of Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University/College of Sciences/Institute of Vet, Animal & Biomed Science
dc.identifier.harvestedMassey_Dark
pubs.notesNot knownen_US


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