Heifer development systems: A comparison of grazing winter range or corn residue

D. M. Larson, A. S. Cupp, R. N. Funston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Two experiments at 2 Nebraska locations evaluated effects of heifer development system on growth and pregnancy rate. In Exp. 1, heifers (n = 270, BW = 225 ± 2 kg) grazed winter Sandhills range (WR) or west central Nebraska corn residue (CR) with a supplement (0.45 kg/animal; 31% CP; 80 mg·animal-1·d-1 of monensin). In Exp. 2, heifers (n = 180, BW = 262 ± 3 kg) grazed eastern Nebraska WR or CR with a supplement (0.45 to 0.90 kg/d; 31% CP; 80 to 160 mg·animal-1·d-1 of monensin). The CR heifers tended to have less (P = 0.10) ADG compared with WR heifers before breeding in Exp. 1; however, prebreeding ADG was similar (P = 0.77) in Exp. 2. Prebreeding BW, percentage of mature BW at breeding, and pregnancy determination BW were similar (P = 0.14) for CR and WR in both experiments. Percentage of heifers pubertal at breeding, AI conception, and AI pregnancy rate (Exp. 2) and final pregnancy rate in both experiments were also similar (P = 0.27) for CR and WR heifers. Precalving BW, percentage of calves born in the first 21 d, calf birth date, calf birth BW, and dystocia score were all similar (P = 0.21) for CR and WR heifers in both experiments. Cow BW at weaning, calf weaning BW, adjusted 205-d calf BW, and second season pregnancy rates were not affected (P = 0.16) by treatment. Heifer development system did not affect (P = 0.56) the cost of producing 1 pregnant heifer in Exp. 1 or 2. Development on CR may reduce ADG before breeding, but did not affect pregnancy rate. Heifer development using CR or WR postweaning resulted in similar reproductive performance and development cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2365-2372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Heifer development
  • Supplement
  • Winter grazing system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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