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.

Most of the scientific information related to the LifeStart platform can be related to a certain age window of a dairy calf or heifer. This information can be found under one of the 6 blue tabs above. However, some other LifeStart science cannot be clearly related to a particular age window. This information has been grouped under one of the 4 green buttons below.


Metabolic programming

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Glucose metabolism

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Role of fat in calf nutrition

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Lactobalance, osmoregulation and hydration

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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

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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
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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.