Date of this Version



© 1986, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This guide offers research findings on the appro-priate weights for Holstein heifer freshening and sug-gests producers be aware of economic considerations involved in heifer freshening.

Most producers realize that the weight of a heifer at freshening affects the amount of milk produced during the first lactation. Heifers not fed balanced nutritional diets before freshening will not produce at an optimum level since they do not have the body reserves to maintain peak produc-tion. Likewise, a heifer that freshens very heavy will not pro-duce as much as she should because she is too heavy. There must be a break-even point at which a heifer should weigh to optimize first lactation production.