The development of the heifer starts with her genetic makeup, once weaned, she is put on a 1.75 pound-a-day gain until breeding in April. Her yearling weight, or breeding weight will equal approximately 60% of her mature weight.

The heifer's veterinarian breeding-soundness exam includes tract development, breeding potential, condition, and pelvic measurements for birth tolerance considerations for when she has her first calf at two years of age.

Heifers can be culled for tract problems and pelvic size; but since we have had these standards of size and condition in our program since 1984, seldom is one culled for these reasons. Pelvic size is highly heritable and is considered along with the heifers weight and age.

Exactness on these measurements is critical to a proper analysis. Our veterinarian uses the hydraulic piston. With the square centimeter of the pelvis, exact age, and her exact weight, we can estimate very accurately her birthing tolerance for pounds of calf when she calves in ten months or before her second birthday.