Date of this Version
There are in Nebraska more than 600,000 dairy cows. The average period of usefulness of the dairy caw is not more than eight years. This means that to maintain the dairy herds of Nebraska at their present size between 70,000 and 80,000 heifer calves must be raised each year. To mate these cows properly with dairy bred bulls will require the rearing of about 8,000 bulls yearly. Aside from the necessity of maintaining the herds at their present size, the importance of calf raising to the Nebraska dairyman lies in the fact that this is the surest and most satisfactory way of improving his herd. It should be remembered, first, that herd improvement can come only thru the replacing of worn-out or discarded cows by heifers better than the cows they replace. Such heifers are the result of mating a pure-bred bull with a herd of cows from which the undesirable individuals have been culled. It is neither practical nor satisfactory for the dairyman to buy these heifers, because he will usually have to pay more for them than it would cost to raise them, and he has no assurance that heifers which he may buy are well bred.