Cow-calf Management and Marketing

Jackson County Heifer Development Project Summary

  • Tony Harvey (Iowa State University)


The heifer development project was a five year project conducted on the site of the former Jackson County Farm north of Andrew, Iowa, for four years and on an area producer’s farm for the fifth year. Heifers arrived around December 1 each year and the average number of heifers each year was 43 with a low of 37 and high of 47. After a 30+ day warm-up period the heifers were put on a 112-day test from early January to late April. They were fed a shelled corn and legume-grass hay ration consisting of between 13% and 14% crude protein and a range of .44 to .58 megacal/pound of NEg over the five years. During the 112-day test heifers gained 1.86, 1.78, 1.5, 1.63 and 2.2 pounds per day, respectively, for years 1992 through 1996. The actual average breeding weight was less than the target weight in three years by 5, 12 and 22 pounds and exceeded the target weight in two year by 17 and 28 pounds. Estrus synchronization used a combination of MGA feeding and Lutalyse injection. Heifers were heat detected and bred 12 hours later for a three-day period. On the fourth day, all heifers not bred were mass inseminated. Heifers then ran with the cleanup bull for 58 days. The average synchronization response rate during the project was 79%. The overall pregnancy rates based on September pregnancy averaged 92%. The five year average total cost per head for heifer development was $286.18 or about $.85 per day. Feed and pasture costs averaged 61% of the total costs.

Keywords: ASL R1444

How to Cite:

Harvey, T., (1998) “Jackson County Heifer Development Project Summary”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

Download pdf



Published on
01 Jan 1998
Peer Reviewed