The cost of raising heifers have increased over the years due to rising labor, fuel, feed and other costs. According to a study by UW-Madison conducted in 2007, the cost to raise a heifer to freshening has increased 57%. The farms studied have similar management techniques that are used in Northeast Iowa. The study was conducted using three different operation types: tie-stall barns, free stall barns, and a custom heifer raiser.
A 700 lb heifer is estimated to cost around $1.90 per day with a 15 cent slide upward or a $0.10 slide downward for each 100 lbs. of bodyweight (after weaning). Breeding costs are not included.
This figure will vary greatly, even up to $0.50 per head per day depending upon management! Thus, it is important to know your costs whether raising yours or someone else’s heifers.
Adapted from the following resource: "What's it Cost to Raise Heifer." Dr. Larry Tranel & Elizabeth Gaul, ISU Extension