The first few months of a calf’s life play a critical role in determining future performance. Combine that with these cold winter months, and now we have extra challenges. Research shows there is a strong positive correlation between early body weight gains and lifetime milk production. Recently it’s been shown that pre-weaning Average Daily Gain (ADG) accounted for 22% of the variation in first-lactation milk yield. As we all know, greater pre-weaning gains can set heifers on a path to reach target weights and sexual maturity earlier.
Even if calves start off well, they commonly experience a performance setback immediately following weaning, where both intake and digestibility are compromised. Gains are slowed or even negative, efficiency suffers, and immunity can be impacted. Impacts are typically greatest in calves that were fed relatively high levels of milk and lesser amounts of dry feed. If severe, this post-weaning slump carries long term implications including increased heifer development costs and decreased future milk production.
Rumen development, triggered by solid feed intake, is the key to easing weaning transitions and maintaining calf weight gains. The nutritional goal for producers is to kick start rumen development as early as possible to drive uninterrupted heifer growth and improve cost efficiencies.
Introducing…The First Rumen Accelerator
Now there’s Axcelera-C – a highly digestible, nutritionally dense high lactose pellet containing a direct-fed microbial. By providing a source of energy from milk sugars as opposed to starch, Axcelera-C supports the calf’s diet to present enzymes naturally. Calves recognize it as milk and find it so palatable they begin measurable intake as early as day 2-3, triggering earlier rumen development.
By introducing Axcelera-C, producers have seen farm management efficiencies associated with:
- Earlier rumen development
- Younger weaning due to earlier solid food intake, often without the typical setback in feed intake and growth
- Faster growing calves
- Reduced incidence of scours
To learn more about Axcelera-C, visit ABVista.com.
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