Maximising early-life nutrition and management is vital to improving herd growth rates, optimal calf development, and the health and lactation performance of you herd.
New findings from Trouw Nutrition’s LifeStart calf rearing programme highlight opportunities to rethink calf milk replacer formulation.
Calf specialist, Katie Tiernan says that rethinking the objectives of calf milk replacers and paying closer attention to the reformulation will have significant benefits for calf performance.
The first critical window of opportunity is in the pre-weaning phase, first 65 days. Feed conversion is much higher in these first weeks of life compared to any other point in the growth cycle.
Research shows that for every 1 kilogram of growth equates to approximately 4 litres of milk in the first lactation. This pre-weaning phase is a unique and unrepeatable opportunity to set calves up for life, as the growth rates and organ development are at peak levels.
Energized calf milk (ECM) is a 50% skim milk powder. ECM is high in fat (25%) ensuring the calf gets a high level of energy. ECM has been specially adapted for the concept of high feeding intensity with guaranteed optimal nutrient supply. The balance of minerals and vitamins has been reformulated for elevated planes of nutrition, to give calves the best possible start in life. ECM has 20% less osmolality, avoiding the risk exceeding nutrient tolerance of lactose content hence, reducing the risk of nutritional diarrhea in calves at the recommended feeding rate of 135g/L.