LifeStart preweaning (d2-d70)

The key scientific principle behind the LifeStart program and the observed increase in animal production is known as metabolic programming. This is an entirely natural phenomenon that has been proven to exist in all kinds of mammals, including human beings. The effect is best described as an improvement of the whole life health and performance of individuals beyond what would previously have been considered their full potential. The directly observed cause of this effect is optimised growth in the first 70 days of life, the preweaning phase. As a result, LifeStart sets life performance.

Boost early growth with the LifeStart calf feeding schedule

LifeStart feeding schedules boost early calf growth. Although the precise methods vary, a number of recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of accelerated early calf growth by intensive liquid feeding during the first eight weeks of life.

5 Critical control points

LifeStart calf feeding schedules alone will have a big impact, but for a holistic approach to calf rearing, the following 5 critical control points need to be taken into account:



4 litres within
the first 6 hours



Feeding according to a LifeStart schedule



2.75 Mj
ME/litre milk



Dry, bright, soft,
well ventilated



Hygienic birth
and housing

With the LifeStart calf feeding program, it’s possible to meet the following rearing objectives:

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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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Download free Energized Calf Milk feeding schedule for automatic and bucket feeding

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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?



Metabolic programming

  Read more


Glucose metabolism

  Read more


Role of fat in calf nutrition

  Read more


Lactobalance, osmoregulation and hydration

  Read more

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