Selection, development, management, and nutrition of heifer calves to be used as herd replacements are key factors in maintaining beef herd productivity. A cow/calf producer, to be successful, must have some goals or criterion for heifer selection and development. For practically all Utah cattle production areas, economics dictate that heifers must calve as two-year-olds. Heifers must be properly developed and managed to permit this. The following factors are important: Heifers should 1) become pregnant in the first 25 days of the breeding season, 2) give birth to a live calf with little or no calving difficulty, 3) raise a calf to weaning that has an average or above weaning weight, 4) breed back as a two-year-old in the first 45 days of the breeding season, and 5) continue to reproduce and wean a calf each year until 9 or 10 years of age.
Stenquist, Norris J. and Bennett, James A., "Selection and Development of Replacement Beef Heifers" (1992). Agriculture. Paper 7.