Dairy farmers whose objective it is to rear calves as quickly as possible know how offering liquid milk (calf milk replacer or whole milk) to their calves will affect pre-weaning growth rates. We know that pre-weaning growth rates are a huge factor at how that baby animal is programmed for lifetime performance.
Farmers will use a range of liquid milk feeding rates – from 600g / day to over 1000g / day. The farmer who offers 1000g recognises that by investing in their calves at this stage by offering a greater quantity of a high value input, they will see the calf performance improve and experience a commercial benefit.
So if feeding more milk make commercial and performance sense, why not offer even more liquid milk?
We are faced with 2 limitations:
- Calf physiology: The volume of the calf’s abomasum will limit the absolute volume of milk she can take. When it’s full, it’s full. So even f you wanted to offer more milk to accelerate her development more, you couldn’t – there’s just not the space!
- Increased risk of nutritional scours:
As we offer more liquid milk, we increase the risk of nutritional scour (diarrhoea). As soon as a calf starts to scour her performance drops and we increase the chance of associated health and husbandry issues.
How can I offer more lactose into a calf?
Axcelera-C is readily consumed by calves from day 4 until weaning. It’s a really easy way of contributing more lactose into a calf even if it is ‘full’ of liquid milk.
Into the rumen.
And because Axcelera-C is a solid, unlike liquid milk, it enters the rumen where it is digested. Because it is consumed earlier and in greater quantities to a starter feed, and because the calf can digest lactose far better than starch or cellulose in the first weeks of life it is an excellent way of accelerating rumen development with farmers noticing their calves weaning themselves up to 2 weeks earlier. The Axcelera-C equips a calf with more energy and at an earlier age than a starter feed. She will partition this energy into where her limiting factor may be with enhanced performance possible on many fronts.
With Axcelera-C, dairy and beef farmers are seeing:
- Accelerated calves grow faster up to weaning and beyond
- The rumen develops faster from day 3, with reduced or no growth check at weaning
- Calves can be weaned much earlier (by 1-2 weeks) – saving time and money
- Calves suffer less from nutritional scours, have glossier coats and require fewer veterinary interventions
- Reduced rearing costs and faster growing calves when used with a reduced CMR program