Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

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Resources to help you grow heavier well-framed heifers.

Heifer management


Well grown heifers are more likely to realise their full potential for milk production and recover their rearing costs earlier. Industry data shows that many farms would benefit from better heifer rearing practices.

More information 

InCalf book 2nd edition pp. 31-51.

How to track your heifers 

Weighing heifers is the best way to keep track of their progress, but if you don’t have scales you can use a girth tape or wither height measuring stick.  

On most farms, heifers need high quality supplements for at least 6 months of the year, so having a feed plan for your heifers should be a high priority.  

Use our online Heifers on Target tools to:

  • Check if your heifers are likely to reach their target weights
  • Estimate the extra production if your heifers reach 85% of mature cow production
  • Work out the impact of losing heifers early from your herd
  • Calculate growth rates required to achieve target heifer weights
  • Check whether your heifers' diet is likely to achieve the optimal growth rates
  • Produce a target weight chart for your own heifers

Heifers on Target Guide to growing more productive heifers (PDF, 867KB)

This guide outlines the benefits of having well-grown heifers and how best to achieve this through good nutritional management and monitoring. 

Rearing heifers off farm

You may decide to outsource your heifer rearing. Make sure that both parties are clear about their expectations and responsibilities by documenting these in a contract. 

View sample heifer rearing contract (PDF, 353KB) 


Major Initiatives

Focus Farms

Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making. Find out how Focus Farms looks at the factors impacting decisions at any point in time, including seasonal and market conditions.


DataGene is an independent and industry-owned organisation responsible for driving genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry and is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry.

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