Feed conversion is much higher in the first weeks of life than at any other point in the growth cycle. So kilogram for kilogram the animal gets more benefit in the first two months, than later in life. This is one reason why it is beneficial to set high growth targets in the first eight weeks.
The research also shows that calves never make up the shortfall in growth rates and organ development, if fed at lower rates, pre-weaning. This pre-weaning phase offers a unique and unrepeatable opportunity to set calves up for life.
Whilst feed costs are higher in the first two months, the benefits to the development and future productivity of the calf more than justify the extra cost, due to higher feed efficiency during early life.
Longevity and sustainability
Increased longevity has a positive effect on profitability per cow, and less greenhouse gas emissions will be produced per kilogram of milk. Hence the environmental impact of dairy production is reduced, while the longevity of each cow and the efficiency of milk production are improved.
This study shows that production improves after the 2nd lactation, whilst methane emissions decrease.
G Methane/ KG Milk
Experts now agree that the management of calves is just as important as that of adult cattle, especially when it comes to improving long term performance. Our unique approach is based on harnessing the benefits of metabolic programming to unlock the genetic potential of cows.
Research has demonstrated that feeding calves LifeStart planes of nutrition has a significant impact on gene expression. Early life nutrition has been shown to positively influence an animal's metabolism with the effects visible later in life. This is represented below in the number of genes altered per organ:
Our team of experts are always on hand to help you out with any advice you may need. Click Here to contact our Calf & Youngstock team.