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Rearing young stock for replacement heifers is probably one of the least well understood and practised aspects of herd and feeding management on dairy farms throughout the world, particularly on small holder dairy farms in the tropics. This book addresses all the major concerns of the small holder dairy farmer in Asia. It shows how to attain optimal growth in young stock, so that as cows, they can calve at an appropriate early age at the lowest cost and promptly substitute for any cows culled from the milking herd. This provides continuing returns on the investments of feed, labour and other farm resources. Low reproductive rates and high calf mortality are the major causes of reproductive wastage. This has a direct bearing on culling and replacement strategies and on genetic improvement. In many tropical countries, calf mortality can be as high as 50%. In some areas this can be due to climatic stress on temperate or crossbred stock. While climatic stress compounds the other hazards of calf life, high calf mortality is usually due to diseases and poor feeding management. Rearing Young Stock on Tropical Dairy Farms in Asia encourages the small holder dairy farmer to maintain their investment in replacement heifers and gives them the tools necessary to achieve realistic targets for mortalities, live weight gain, mating age, and age and live weight at first calving. It is a companion volume to three previous manuals written by John Moran: Tropical Dairy Farming, Business Management for Tropical Dairy Farmers and Managing High Grade Dairy Cows in the Tropics.
John Moran is a retired Australian senior research and advisory scientist from Victoria's Department of Primary Industries, located at Kyabram in northern Victoria. While working for DPI, he spent half his time advising farmers in southern Australia and half his time working with dairy farmers and advisers in South and East Asia. His specialist fields include dairy production, ruminant nutrition, calf and heifer rearing, forage conservation and whole farm business management. He currently manages his own consultancy firm called Profitable Dairy Systems. John graduated in 1967 with a Rural Science honours degree from New England University at Armidale in NSW, followed by a Masters degree in 1969. In 1976, he obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy in beef production from University of London, Wye College in England.