A calf’s ability to digest lactose is dependent on it secreting the enzyme lactase. Lactase is abundantly secreted from birth and then volumes start to decline by about 5 weeks of age.
This suggests that if you follow a calf’s development, lactose can play reduced role from this period onwards in the calf’s development, as it is transformed from a monogastric animal into a ruminant.
Farmers can find providing calves with liquid milk time consuming a difficult period to manage, with errors that are made in this period likely to affect the short term and long term performance of a calf.
Consequently, when they are able to, so farmers want to wean their calves off liquid milk as soon as possible. This can be achieved by using Axcelera-C as an easy way of providing the nutritional benefits of milk without having to mix or heat a liquid – and because it goes into the calf’s rumen, it has the added benefit of accelerating rumen development, setting up that animal’s ruminating capability for the rest of its life.
Leading dairy farmers are now using Axcelera-C as their way of delivering an Accelerated Weaning program, stopping liquid milk feeds at day 35, and using Axcelera-C beyond that to continue offering the calf milk until day 50.
You might expect that there may be some health or performance compromises to make as a result of 35 day weaning, however farmers are seeing:
- Calf-rearing cost savings of £14+ / calf (due to reduce management time, heating and administering liquid milk
- Their calves growing faster at weaning and beyond as a result of the Accelerated Weaning Program.
How to Accelerate Weaning using Axcelera-C
- Milk Program: Reduce the peak quantity of your existing milk program by 1 litre per day
- After colostrum: Offer Axcelera-C ad lib up to a maximum of 700g per calf per day until day 50.
- At 14 days: Introduce TMR mixed with your starter feed.
- At 35 days: Wean the calves from liquid milk.
Calves should always have free access to water and straw.