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Nutrition-induced Changes of Growth from Birth to First Calving and Its Impact on Mammary Development and First-lactation Milk Yield in Dairy Heifers: A Review

The ultimate goal of dairy farms is to produce the best
cows from replacement heifers. But, replacement heifer
management and feeding is expensive and requires
extensive labour. It costs approximately 20% of the farm
expenses (Heinrichs, 1993). Reducing the age of onset of
puberty, early breeding, and thereby reducing age at first
calving (AFC) is the obvious option to minimize expenses
on these heifers. In order to achieve this, high energy, high
protein, and thus, high concentrate diets are being fed to
accelerate growth rates of calves and heifers.