Calf and heifer feed management Calf and heifer feed management

Calf and heifer feed management

Calf-rearing is a vital part of investing in the next generation of dairy cows globally, though circumstances differ by country. Trouw Nutrition supports farmers worldwide through the combination of our unique expertise and advice in nutrition and management, and a wide range of quality products, including premixes and minerals.

Calf and heifer compound feed ingredient needs

When developing concentrates for calf and heifer feed, Trouw Nutrition works to ensure it helps farmers reach their goals around rumen development.

We have developed a specific framework of ingredients to help achieve smooth concentrate absorption, that includes maximum recommendations for certain concentrates to ensure the resulting feed is palatable.

In addition to raw material requirements, the framework also contains recommendations for nutritional requirements that ensure that rumen capacity is built, without having problems with acidosis. We also supply nutrient guidelines for materials that help to develop long and strong rumen papillae. Papillae are essential for nutrient utilisation (and subsequent milk production), since a large part of the energy that is produced in the rumen must be absorbed by them.

Calf and heifer feed application

To achieve calves’ maximum growth, we advise providing unlimited access to concentrates that meet our nutritional guidelines during the first four months of life. It is also essential to provide a proper and effective source of fibre so that the calf can achieve a strong muscular layer and well-developed rumen papillae. We advise providing dust-free, clean chopped straw starting in week three.

Another essential requirement that is often underestimated is a continuous water supply. Calves cannot manage with milk alone because it does not normally go via the rumen. Allowing free access to water is imperative to developing the rumen.

Our offering for calf and heifer feed management

LifeStart programme

LifeStart programme

LifeStart is a science-based platform for dairy calves that deals with the critical first months of a dairy calf’s life.

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LifeStart science has proved that intensive feeding in its early life makes a heifer ready for breeding – at a good weight and fertility – at 13 months of age.
Dr. Leonel Leal, Team lead Calf Research at Trouw Nutrition
Go to our LifeStart platform Go to our LifeStart platform

Would you like more information about feeding recommendations at different stages?

You will find more information and research on the NutriOpt platform, which clarifies the choices farmers have to make to formulate the right diets for intensive calf rearing.

Go to NutriOpt