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Heifer Development - Handling Acclimation


Olds College is studying the effects of different handling acclimation procedures prior to the breeding season on reproductive performance, reactivity at handling, and physiological indicator of stress assessed in beef heifers. Deliverables will include recommended acclimation practices to increase pregnancy rate, subsequently improving the longevity of individual cows and overall animal welfare while increasing the profitability and sustainability of cow-calf operations.

Partners/Funders: Nielson Signature Beef, NSERC

Heifer Acclimation Replicate Study: 2021 Summary

Replicate study confirms handling acclimation and positive reinforcement of feed rewards keep cattle calmer — and result in improved reproductive performance.

  • Acclimated heifers had an increment on pregnancy rate of 10.84% when compared to control group.
  • By adopting handling acclimation, heifers are shown to have 7.5 times increased chances of becoming pregnant compared to control group.

View Heifer Acclimation Replicate Study: 2021 Summary

Heifer Acclimation: 2020 Summary

Study indicates handling acclimation, positive reinforcement and feed rewards keep cattle calmer, and may result in improved reproductive performance.

  • Study is being repeated on new heifers to improve statistical results.
  • Previous heifers are being studied to see if acclimation procedures need to be repeated annually.

View Heifer Acclimation 2020 Summary

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