Contract Heifer Option

What does it really cost us to produce a pregnant replacement heifer? Few of us have really seriously done those figures. Sometimes the best option is to sell our weaner heifer and purchase the right type of replacement heifer; right breed, right bull, scanned in calf, no empties, no paddocks tied up, no hidden extras just an upfront contract cost. When you look at the table below, consider what you would pay for your heifers, because if you don’t sell her you have in essence bought her and that is what she owes you.

Remembering that any heifer entering a Heiferland program is being developed with her future in mind. The basic principles of the benefits of Heiferlands synchronisation process is the building block for everything we do and guides our approach to the many and varied options available. So your contract heifers receive the same benefits as the custom heifer and trade heifer.

Why not purchase high quality heifers joined to selected calving ease sires PTIC, every animal producing from day one.

“Managing home-raised, replacement-heifer numbers has much more impact on the unit cost of production than ranchers typically believe. The quickest way to increase UCOP is to hold back added replacement heifers. Conversely, the quickest way to lower UCOP is to reduce heifer calves held back as replacements.  Where the cost of raising replacement heifers is concerned, cash accounting will lead most ranchers down a primrose path. Thats because it underestimates the true economic costs of raising replacement heifers. In fact, I predict some ranchers will lose substantial money raising replacement heifers and not even be aware of it. The cost of replacement heifers should be based on ‘economic costs’(opportunity costs), not cash costs.

  • If you don’t hold back replacement heifers, you have the ‘opportunity’ to sell them at weaning
  • The feed used to raise replacement heifers could be sold, or fed to other animals.
  • If you don’t develop your own replacement heifers, your can run more cows.” (quote Harlan Hughes Professor”heifer EconomicsPart 2”)

Table 1. Replacement Heife Development Costs

Phase One

Av. Weight at weaning 220kg
Value at weaning ($3.80x220kg) $ 836
Minimum weight gain until joining 80-100kg
Joining weight 320kg
Cost of Carry(COC) until joining
8-10mths @ $7/hd/wk *NB* $ 280
Interest @ 6% $ 67
Ready to join $ 1183

Phase Two

Bull costs
Price Calve Ease Bull $10000
Cull price(800kgx$2.50) $ 2000
# of heifers/joining expressed /pregnancy (90%) 30
# of years used 5
Per heifer bull cost $ 59
Bull COC, deaths @ 1% and interest $ 20
for bulls expressed per heifer
Bull costs / heifer joined $ 79

Phase Three

COC for joining period until preg testing $ 126
NB 18wks @ COC $7
Subtotal $ 1388
Conception rate 80% (PTIC heifers carry proportionate cost for empty heifers) $ 349
Total $ 1737
Plus in time frame 12-15mths(weaning to PTIC) Run another animal in her place $ 415
Total cost to producer $2152

*NB* Cost of Carry(COC) includes all vet, sprays, treatments, mustering, labour, cost of grass associated property running costs expressed per beast.

## figures based upon Western beef development centre fact sheet #2012-06.

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