Calves eat the Axcelera-C / Starter feed blend with immediately and more aggressively - gaining an additional 1.5Kg of weight per week compared to calves which have not had access to Axcelera-C
Chris remarked that the calves on Axcelera-C are noticeably healthier which is contributing to improved performance, and a reduction in medication cost and management time.
The additional weight gain has resulted in the calves reaching target weights up to 3 weeks earlier which over a year will enable Chris to put an extra 1 to 2 groups of calves through the unit which will have a very positive financial benefit on the business
"My calves are stronger, thicker-set and healthier and I also have reduced Vet bills to prove it. Their intakes have been transformed. For example, 2 weeks after weaning, they are now eating 3.5kg of feed a day, an increase of nearly 1kg. This has resulted in extra daily live weight gains, a faster turnover of calves which can now leave my rearing unit earlier.
The first customer to purchase my first group of Axcelera-C calves called 2 days later to purchase all 60 calves from the next batch - He was very happy with the quality of the calves compared to calves he had bought from his previous supplier."
Calves are reared in groups of 20 and are typically between 10 days and 3 weeks old when they arrive in the unit. Some calves are contract reared, however Chris also rears calves for private customers and enquiries are always welcome (shropshirelivestocksupplies.co.uk). The calves are required to achieve a target weight of 150kg by 12 weeks and it’s important to Chris that these weights are achieved within that time frame or earlier to control or reduce costs per calf.
When the calves arrive in the rearing unit they are weighed and put in groups of 20 on an automatic milk machine which is set to wean the calves over 2 weeks starting at 6 weeks, although this can be adjusted for individual calves depending on age and weight on arrival. Calves start on 2.4 litres and built up to of 4.8 litres over 2 days with a total of 750 grams of calf milk replacer being fed per day. Starter feed is offered to the calves on arrival with Axcelera-C added to the feed at a 20% inclusion. Calves are vaccinated with 'Rispoval 4' two weeks after arrival to protect them from pneumonia and are weighed again every 2 to 3 weeks to track performance.
Chris had the first delivery of Axcelera-C in October 2017 and initially ran an on-farm trial using adjoining pens where one pen had Axcelera-C added at 20% to their starter feed which contains Deccox and the others didn’t. Both groups had access to clean barley straw in racks and clean fresh water. Axcelera-C was removed from the ration one week after weaning.