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dc.contributor.authorBoulton, ACen_US
dc.contributor.authorRushton, Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorWathes, DCen_US
dc.coverage.spatialEnglanden_US
dc.date.available2017-08en_US
dc.date.issued2017-08en_US
dc.identifierhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28173887en_US
dc.identifierS1751731117000064en_US
dc.identifier.citationAnimal, 2017, 11 (8), pp. 1372 - 1380en_US
dc.description.abstractRearing quality dairy heifers is essential to maintain herds by replacing culled cows. Information on the key factors influencing the cost of rearing under different management systems is, however, limited and many farmers are unaware of their true costs. This study determined the cost of rearing heifers from birth to first calving in Great Britain including the cost of mortality, investigated the main factors influencing these costs across differing farming systems and estimated how long it took heifers to repay the cost of rearing on individual farms. Primary data on heifer management from birth to calving was collected through a survey of 101 dairy farms during 2013. Univariate followed by multivariable linear regression was used to analyse the influence of farm factors and key rearing events on costs. An Excel spreadsheet model was developed to determine the time it took for heifers to repay the rearing cost. The mean±SD ages at weaning, conception and calving were 62±13, 509±60 and 784±60 days. The mean total cost of rearing was £1819±387/heifer with a mean daily cost of £2.31±0.41. This included the opportunity cost of the heifer and the mean cost of mortality, which ranged from £103.49 to £146.19/surviving heifer. The multivariable model predicted an increase in mean cost of rearing of £2.87 for each extra day of age at first calving and a decrease in mean cost of £6.06 for each percentile increase in time spent at grass. The model also predicted a decrease in the mean cost of rearing in autumn and spring calving herds of £273.20 and £288.56, respectively, compared with that in all-year-round calving herds. Farms with herd sizes⩾100 had lower mean costs of between £301.75 and £407.83 compared with farms with <100 milking cows. The mean gross margin per heifer was £441.66±304.56 (range £367.63 to £1120.08), with 11 farms experiencing negative gross margins. Most farms repaid the cost of heifer rearing in the first two lactations (range 1 to 6 lactations) with a mean time from first calving until breaking even of 530±293 days. The results of the economic analysis suggest that management decisions on key reproduction events and grazing policy significantly influence the cost of rearing and the time it takes for heifers to start making a profit for the farm.en_US
dc.format.extent1372 - 1380en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.relation.urihttps://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/52E5099FB22AA521C3E155D64B2FAADC/S1751731117000064a.pdf/div-class-title-an-empirical-analysis-of-the-cost-of-rearing-dairy-heifers-from-birth-to-first-calving-and-the-time-taken-to-repay-these-costs-div.pdfen_US
dc.rights© The Animal Consortium 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
dc.subjectdairyen_US
dc.subjecteconomic analysisen_US
dc.subjectgrazingen_US
dc.subjectheiferen_US
dc.subjectmanagement systemen_US
dc.subjectAnimalsen_US
dc.subjectBreedingen_US
dc.subjectCattleen_US
dc.subjectCosts and Cost Analysisen_US
dc.subjectDairyingen_US
dc.subjectFemaleen_US
dc.subjectFertilizationen_US
dc.subjectLactationen_US
dc.subjectMilken_US
dc.subjectPregnancyen_US
dc.subjectReproductionen_US
dc.subjectUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.subjectWeaningen_US
dc.titleAn empirical analysis of the cost of rearing dairy heifers from birth to first calving and the time taken to repay these costs.en_US
dc.typeJournal Article
dc.citation.volume11en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/S1751731117000064en_US
dc.identifier.elements-id290997
dc.relation.isPartOfAnimalen_US
dc.citation.issue8en_US
dc.identifier.eissn1751-732Xen_US
dc.description.publication-statusPublisheden_US
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University
pubs.organisational-group/Massey University/College of Sciences
dc.identifier.harvestedMassey_Dark
pubs.notesNot knownen_US
dc.subject.anzsrc06 Biological Sciencesen_US
dc.subject.anzsrc07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciencesen_US


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