Time to exploit early growth

Posted by rebecca on Jul 4, 2016, 12:05 PM

In April I was a guest of Trouw Nutrition at the opening of their new Calf and Beef Research Facility at Boxmeer in the Netherlands. It is a very impressive facility, carrying out research which will directly benefit farmers.

They are looking at different ways to feed calves to get the best start in life, to exploit the very high growth rates that all young animals can achieve. Calves will be fed different amounts of whole milk and milk powder, different sorts and amounts of calf starter and different types of forage.

Calf growth rates will be assessed to help develop the most effective systems. Uniquely, they will follow these calves through to adulthood so they can study the impact of early calf growth on production in the grown animal. As the results become available, we can tailor our feeds to use the latest research and help you produce fast growing, healthy calves.

The basic message I took away with me was that how you looked after and fed the calf from birth reflected on how it will develop into an adult animal.

Early nutrition is crucial for lifetime performance in all types of ruminant. So what can we do at this time of year? It will certainly make sense to creep feed lambs. Not only will this complement milk and forage to achieve maximum growth rates, it will also mean lambs can be marketed earlier. This will also preserve precious grass which could be in short supply this summer. Masseys Hi – Gain Lamb Pellets or Harvest Lamb Mix will be an ideal choice at this time of the year. Suckler calves also need that good start in life. Early introduction of creep feed, such as Masseys Beef 7030, will help develop the rumen to get the best growth rates and to help prevent any post-weaning growth check.

For more information please contact your Massey Feed Area Manager.

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