For years dairy farmers have used 2 tools to rear calves;
- Liquid milk
- Starter feed.
As calf rearers, our objective is to convert our monogastric new-born calves into ruminants as effectively as possible whilst promoting good calf growth and development.
Ongoing research confirms the importance of rumen development in the calf relative to high levels of liquid milk.
“To conclude, calf feeding programs providing 4 to 6 quarts per day of milk or milk replacer and encouraging calves to eat large amounts of high quality calf starter to develop and utilize the rumen are more economical than feeding large amounts of milk or milk replacer.”
Judd Heinrichs – Penn State
Calves will only typically start to intake starter feed (starter pellet, muesli etc) after 2-3 weeks, not recognising it as food and not possessing the enzymes to digest the starch and fibre in their first 2-3 weeks of life. Calves are designed to suckle milk which is their best and easiest form of nutrition whilst being a monogastric neonate. As such, by calves not eating significant quantities of starter feed for 3 weeks and little solid matter entering the rumen, we have lost 3 weeks of valuable rumen development time.
Axcelera-C is an extremely palatable high lactose (40%) accelerator for calves – containing more than 40% lactose – which young calves recognise as ‘solid milk’. Axcelera-C is a new tool that calves intake from day 4, winning back 3 weeks of rumen development time. By not changing the liquid milk program and by offering Axcelera-C from day 4, calves are receiving more energy earlier than they would have had before and at the same time accelerate rumen development faster than can be achieved by liquid milk and starter feed alone.
Calves can use this extra energy for growth or fuelling their immune function (whichever is the limiting factor), and will reach dry matter intakes for weaning significantly earlier.
With Axcelera-C, dairy and beef farmers are seeing:
- Accelerated calves grow faster up to weaning and beyond
- The rumen develops faster from day 4, with reduced or no growth check at weaning
- Calves can be weaned much earlier (by 1-2 weeks – depending on dry mater intakes) – saving time and money
- Calves suffer less from nutritional scours, have glossier coats and require fewer veterinary interventions
Use Axcelera-C with your existing liquid milk program and start developing the rumen from day 4.
Axcelera-C is used in addition to your existing milk system – to optimise the calf’s lactose and milk protein intakes – when it is at its most efficient.
How to use Axcelera-C
Each calf requires about 9kg of the highly digestible Axcelera-C to be accelerated.
Day 4 – Day 24
- Keep your existing liquid milk program unchanged. However, levels of >850g/head/day will reduce dry matter intake and rumen development. Consider using 850g/h/day as your maximum level.
- Offer Axcelera-C ad-lib, replacing starter feed, showing the calf how to take it from your hand, and then from a shallow bucket, offering it at suckling height.
- Each day, offer fresh Axcelera-C and ensure water is freely available which also enters the rumen to help stimulate rumen development.
Day 24 – weaning
- Introduce your starter feed and blend in 150g of Axcelera-C per head per day (or 15%) to stimulate greater intakes.
- Measure dry matter intakes and wean when dry matter intakes on 3 consecutive days reach 1.5kg per calf.
In summary, Axcelera-C offers dairy & beef farmers a new tool to use when rearing calves, and works in conjunction with the existing liquid milk system and starter feed to deliver faster growing calves that form the foundations for enhanced lifetime performance.