Ruminants Swine

LifeStart dairy heifer management (d70-first calving)

Dairy heifer management has a big influence on farm economics. The age at first calving is an important parameter that influences average lifetime daily production. Increased growth rates achieved using the LifeStart program lead to a lower age at first calving. This has the obvious benefit of bringing forward the start of first lactation, increasing the potential production of the dairy heifer whilst lowering the overall cost of production:



Figure 1: LifeStart trials have demonstrated that a LifeStart feeding program for dairy calves improves fertility at first breeding and reduces the age of first conception by 16 days.

How age at first calving affects milk production

LifeStart trials have demonstrated that a LifeStart feeding program for dairy calves improves fertility at first breeding and reduces the age at first conception by 16 days.

Conventional LifeStart Difference p-value
1st insemination 399 days 393 days 6 0.39
Age at conception 424 days 408 days 16 0.04
Age at 1st calving 699 days 684 days 15 0.10

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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.

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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?

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1

Metabolic programming

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2

Glucose metabolism

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3

Role of fat in calf nutrition

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4

Lactobalance, osmoregulation and hydration

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