Heifer Pregnancy

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Pregnancy diagnosis for first-calf heifers should be done within 60 to 65 days post-breeding season. This allows for pregnant and open heifers to be identified, where selection can be focused on pregnant heifers. A heifer exposure inventory is necessary to ensure efficient pregnancy diagnosis of heifers.

Contemporary Group Information:

1. Yearling Weight Contemporary Group Criteria

2. Heifer Pregnancy Management Code

3. Breeding Season Start and End Dates

4. Exposure

5. Breeding Pasture and/or Sire Effect

Genetic Evaluation

Heifer pregnancy EPD estimates differences among individuals in the proportion of their daughters that will successfully conceive to calve at two years of age. Computation of these EPDs requires exposure data and pregnancy diagnosis results. Heifer pregnancy EPD is expressed as the probability of successful conception and predicts differences among individuals (typically sires) in the ability of their daughters to conceive and calve at two years of age.


Heifer pregnancy is an economically relevant trait because it will directly impact replacement heifers retained. Scrotal circumference can be used an indicator of heifer pregnancy. The number of breeds generating heifer pregnancy EPD has increased, therefore it is likely an across-breed heifer pregnancy EPD may be available. For increased reproductive efficiency in heifers, recommendations for exposing heifers should be followed. Structural characteristics and parental performance history should outweigh visual characters assumed related to reproductive performance (Sprott and Troxel, 2012).


Sprott, L.R. and T.R. Troxel. 2012. Management of replacement heifers for a high reproductive and calving rate. Texas AgriLife Extension B-1213. [1]