Date of Award
Master of Science
C. E. Wylie
S. A. Hinton, H. J. Smith, Bonard S. Wilson
This study was undertaken to compare the efficiency of hay supplemented by pasture and hay alone for wintering dairy heifers. Actual feeding trials were used with the dairy heifers.
To reduce the cost of raising dairy heifers and at the same time secure good growth should be an objective of any dairyman. One of the most economical ways for dairymen to reduce cost and at the same time secure good growth is to provide pasture for both winter and summer. Good pasture reduces the cost of both roughages and concentrates. The actual amount of reduction in hay by furnishing winter pasture can be seen in the results of this experiment.
The expense incurred each year in raising dairy heifers to replace the discarded cows is a severe tax upon the dairy industry. Experience has shown that the period of usefulness, on the average, for a dairy cow is approximately five years (10). This means that a large number of dairy heifers must be kept for replacements; and since heifers are at least two years of age when they come into milk, about two heifers must be raised per year for each ten cows.
There are several important phases to the general question of raising dairy heifers. In addition to the important economic side suggested, the question is always before the owner as to a possible relation between the manner of raising the young animals and their milk producing abilities when mature.
Any attempt to give the cost of wintering heifers in terms of dollars and cents is bound to be unsatisfactory and only of temporary value, since prices of feed vary extremely from year to year and from one locality to another. For this reason no attempt has been made to represent the cost of wintering the animals in this experiment in money values, but rather in the terms of amount of feed required.
This study was designed to winter heifers as economically as possible and still not impair their growth and gains.
Laine, Fred Gill, "Wintering dairy heifers on hay with and without pasture. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1951.