Why Heifer Maturity Matters – Dr. Gavin Staley, Diamond V; Dr. Al Kertz, ANDHIL LLC

Posted: April 12, 2022


Dr. Gavin Staley, Diamond V; Dr. Al Kertz, ANDHIL LLC

Co-host: Dr. Glen Aines, Balchem

Episode 41: Why Heifer Maturity Matters

Podcast Topic

Today’s episode is focused on one of our most important resources: calves. Calves set the trajectory of our herd and represent our future productivity and profitability. In this Real Science Exchange episode, we will show how appropriate investment in young stock will pay off big in later years.


Dr. Staley noticed in data there is a correlation between 10-week milk and the average annual herd of the whole dairy. (12:25)

Dr. Kertz spoke on the importance of height in addition to the weight of a calf. Height is the best indicator of the frame that weight will be deposited on and there are some consequences to heifers and cows with too much weight. (20:10)

Dr. Staley said it is worth the time to measure your dairy animals, somewhere in mid-lactation, to establish the genetic makeup and the genetic body condition score to know what you are aiming for. (31:46)

Dr. Kertz closed by saying it’s important to measure birth weights, weaning weights and heights periodically. By looking at those numbers a few times a year, you’ll have a good idea of where your dairy is at and what may need to be fixed. (56:47)

If you’d like to find Dr. Al Kertz’s book, you can find it here: https://outskirtspress.com/dairycalfa…

If you want one of our new Real Science Exchange t-shirts, make sure to screenshot your rating, review or subscription, and email a picture to [email protected]. Include your size and mailing address and we’ll get a shirt in the mail to you.

This podcast is sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health.