LifeStart is a science-based program that focuses on the critical first months of a dairy calf’s life

In the future, to feed the ever-increasing world population in a sustainable way, we need to utilise the full potential of each production animal. For dairy cows, this means increasing their performance per day of life. To increase the average lifetime daily production you need to:

Reduce the age at first calving
Increase the cow milk production per lactation
Increase the number of lactations per cow

LifeStart is a science-based platform for dairy calves that deals with the critical first months of a dairy calf’s life. LifeStart research has shown that metabolic programming during the first weeks of life has a big impact on organ development, leading to a more robust cow with an increased performance later in life.

Research makes the difference!

Trouw Nutrition dairy research is aimed at generating the knowledge that you need for building the perfect dairy cow and utilising its full potential.

Building the perfect cow

It all starts with improving genetics, followed by making the most of its genetic potential through metabolic programming. The LifeStart Dairy research programme does exactly that: it brings together the latest insights in metabolic programming and translates it into calf rearing solutions that will start to build the best possible dairy cow.

Utilising the full potential of a dairy cow

It is crucial to optimise the transition to lactation. This is what the HealthyLife Dairy research programme is all about: it brings together the latest scientific insights and translates it into practical applications. HealthyLife solutions can be used to reduce the impact of systemic immune activation, resulting in an increased number of lactations and in sustainable milk production.

LifeStart Themes

Most of the LifeStart science presented on this site is related to a particular stage of the life of a calf or dairy cow. There are however some general themes not related to a particular stage of life.

For a full understanding of LifeStart science, please review the information related to the following
4 themes:

Questions about Calf Rearing?



Metabolic programming

  Read more


Glucose metabolism

  Read more


Role of fat in calf nutrition

  Read more


Lactobalance, osmoregulation and hydration

  Read more

How can we help you?

This area is for form: contact registration

The benefits of following LifeStart calf feeding schedules.

Trouw Nutrition has carried out research comparing LifeStart calf feeding schedules with elevated planes of nutrition to more traditional calf feeding schedules. Trials show that by applying LifeStart scientific principles and feeding schedules during the first 70 days of a dairy calf’s life, calf nutrition improves and farmers benefit from:

Higher average
daily weight gain

Earlier breeding

Better udder development

Higher milk production

A lower culling rate
during 1st and 2nd lactation

Join LifeStart UPDATES today and be the first
to learn more about...

Trouw Nutrition is dedicated to optimize calf rearing principles by developing science based solutions that will enable dairy farmers to produce in a more sustainable way. Together with our global network of scientific institutes, we share solutions to deal with common challenges of the dairy industry.

In 2014 Trouw Nutrition initiated the Kempenshof LifeStart trial in which calves are monitored from birth until the end of their productive life. This trial still continues today.

Our team will share their latest findings and results as well as other important information related to calf rearing from around the world.

LifeStart UPDATES brings you...

  • The latest Kempenshof trial results 6 months prior to official publish
  • Science translated into practical appliances
  • Important industry insights
  • And a complete overview of upcoming congresses and events
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This is not correct.

Fields with * are mandatory

Thank you for joining LifeStart updates

You will receive a confirmation mail asking to confirm your request. Once you have confirmed your email the subscription will be complete. We trust you will enjoy our monthly updates.

Transforming research and development into practical nutritional solutions

Trouw Nutrition's Research & Development (R&D) activities are designed to translate world-class research into practical, economic and sustainable nutritional solutions. Our international R&D is organised into four core teams covering ingredients, poultry, ruminants and swine research. At our in-house research facilities, we annually conduct more than 70 global R&D studies. Our research facilities are located in Canada, the Netherlands and Spain. In particular, our high-tech research facilities have unique electronic feeding stations for forage and compound feed, which make it possible to individually monitor the feeding behaviour in group-housed facilities. Additionally, we have metabolism facilities for health-related, physiological and digestibility research.

To further validate the effectiveness of our nutritional solutions, our validation team has a collaboration network worldwide of more than 100 leading universities, opinion leaders and key customers in their respective regions and countries. This research enables us to develop advanced nutritional products, models and services, setting us apart in the animal nutrition industry.