Upon reaching puberty at 16 months of age, the hind is capable of producing a single calf (rarely twins) annually. However, getting hinds to express their potential for high annual productivity requires considered management through the year based on an understanding of their reproductive cycle.

Adult hinds initiate ovulation and oestrus (‘heat’) in mid to late March in New Zealand.

Management of hinds around mating is mostly about ensuring that they are in good body condition and are provided a low-stress environment

Information about puberty in hinds and cows and certain rules to ensure they do reach puberty when they should
Why should mating management of yearling hinds differ from that of adult hinds?

Reproductive wastage is lost money! Any time a hind fails to present a good healthy calf at weaning,that’s wastage.

There are a variety of reasons why hinds may fail to breed. The principal cause of failure is undoubtedly poor nutrition and low body condition score (BCS). However, there are a number of other reproductive disorders than can afflict individuals, but these only account for a small proportion of losses.

When does the hind become a priority over the calf in autumn? When should we switch our focus from weaning weight (this years production) to hind conception and mating date (next years production)?