Masters Theses


Ben David Lee

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

Major Professor

George M. Merriman

Committee Members

Ed R. Lidvall, Bill G. Hicks


This study was conducted to examine the importance of various factors affecting the cost of raising replacement beef heifers under a variety of Tennessee conditions. It involved determining which factors were of the greatest importance and how these factors differed in determining the cost involved in raising a replacement.

The data for this study were taken from available records on the herds at seven of the University of Tennessee Experiment Stations. They were derived from personal interviews with the superintendents of the stations involved, and from Tennessee market reports published by the U.S.D.A. A four year period, 1969-1972, was studied. The factors investigated included productivity and fertility of the cow herd; breeding costs; death losses and illnesses in the herd; feeding costs; management practices of dehorning, vaccinating, and weaning; and finally labor costs.

After evaluating these factors, an investigation was made to determine whether, under given conditions, the rearing or purchasing of replacement heifers was more economical. Budgets set up in this study indicate that adding replacement heifers for calving as two-year olds by purchasing them from Tennessee feeder calf sales is less economical than rearing them from birth. With the fluctuation of feed and beef prices, a producer must evaluate the cost factors shown in this study and decide which method of obtaining replacement beef heifers, by purchase or by on-the-farm rearing, would be most economical.

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