Dairy farmers around the world tell us the same thing - Their calves routinely only start to eat solid feed from 2-3 weeks of age. This is not a reflection on the starter feed (calves don't recognise starch and fibre as feed in this period), but on the calf, which is designed for milk - and is a lactose-loving suckling animal for the first 3 weeks. This means as calf rearers, by having limited solid feed intakes in this period we are losing 2-3 weeks of rumen development time.
Calves are designed for milk, and Axcelera-C is a unique 40% high lactose pellet that calves instinctively recognise as 'solid milk', eating it from day 4; 2-3 weeks earlier than a starter feed. It has the same lactose content as milk but unlike liquid milk, being a solid it enters the rumen where is starts to accelerate rumen development from day 4. This leads to greater dry matter intakes, providing the energy-deficient calf with more energy earlier than any other system, resulting in improvements in growth and immune response. Farmers who wean their calves on dry matter intake say their calves are achieving the significant 1.5kg of intake much earlier with Axcelera-C.
There is nothing better for calves than milk, but there is a limit to how much milk we can offer calves - due to scour risks and calf appetite. If we could offer calves more milk safely, while they are at their most efficient, we would do. By offering Axcelera-C in addition to the existing milk program, we can provide calves with 24/7 access to 'solid milk' and lactose that fuels extra growth and is also proven to reduce nutritional scours.
Over 1 million calves have used Axcelera-C and it is transforming calf performance in the USA where it is used on dedicated calf ranches that raise up to 120,000 calves a year. Dairy farmers who have been using Axcelera-C are reporting faster growing calves, earlier and more aggressive intakes enabling earlier weaning and reductions in medication with generally stronger calves that show greater vitality. Axcelera-C typically replaces a starter feed completely for 3 weeks, and then is blended at 20%-30% with starter feed until weaning. Depending on the current on-farm program, Axcelera-C use can be adapted to fit the existing system.
And don't forget how important the height at which feed is offered can affect early dry matter intake.