Totally Vets Heifer Grazing Scheme
Did you know that Totally Vets operates a heifer grazing scheme for our clients? We have a number of grazing properties in the region that have been audited and assessed as appropriate for the grazing of valuable young dairy stock. These properties are managed by graziers that understand the importance of dairy stock growth targets and the different needs of this class of stock compared to other classes.
As a dairy heifer owner you get matched with a grazier that suits your needs. We perform regular weight checks (weaners weighed four weekly until nine months old and then eight weekly thereafter) and provide a written report on performance after each weigh. This includes graphs showing growth rates against a target growth curve.
One of the biggest advantages in having your heifers managed by us is that there is prompt investigation of any animal health problems. We also produce a comprehensive Animal Health Plan for the period of grazing. This covers quarantine drenching, regular drenching (oral drenches when practical followed by injectables), vaccinations (e.g. Clostridial, Lepto, BVD), trace element recommendations, reproductive advice (e.g. bull testing, synchrony, pregnancy testing) and is adapted through the season depending on climatic conditions.
Recommendations are made on which animal health products are appropriate and these can either be supplied by the heifer owner, or by Totally Vets, and invoiced accordingly. Administering of animal health products is done by the graziers and/or Totally Vets staff, usually coinciding with weigh sessions. We encourage heifer owners to visit their stock and are happy to organise for this to occur at any time.
There are two main contract periods. The "weaner" period is from late November/early December until April 30th, and the "May-May" period is from 1st May until 30th April the following year. "Winter" grazing for pregnant R2s may also be available during May/June,/July by arrangement.
The "weaner" contract period is charged on weight gain only. A minimum weekly fee is paid (based on weight gain equal to a modest standard curve) and, at the end of the contract, a final payment is made based on the difference between the group average start and end weights minus the amount paid as the minimum weekly fee.
The "May-May" contract period is charged on a combination of weekly maintenance fee and weight gain fee. Maintenance fee depends on group average start weight and weight gain fee is negotiated. A minimum weekly fee is paid and then final weight payment is based on the difference between the start and end weight minus the cumulative weight gain portion of the minimum weekly fee already paid. A per head fee is taken by Totally Vets for managing the scheme.
If you would like more information on our heifer grazing scheme, either as a heifer owner or as a grazier, please don't hesitate to contact Mark Eames on 06 323 6161.