Calves benefit from whole milk additive
Mid Canterbury agribusiness company Winslow has developed
a way that farmers can use the whole milk on hand to feed calves but
still get the nutritional benefits that are in the powdered milk supplements.
innovation, called NuStart Milk Additive, is the first of its type in
the UK and, according to Provimi which was a partner in development, the
first in the world.
Unsupplemented milk not
Winslow nutritionist Dr
Rob Derrick was part of the team that developed NuStart Milk Additive. He says
milk alone will not bring a calf to optimum condition in its first three months.
"Unsupplemented milk is not enough because calves are not getting the many small
milk feeds per day they would get from mum, and they are kept in large groups
with increased risk of disease. You only have to look at the anaemic, lethargic
calves produced under milk-only veal systems to appreciate that.
First 12 weeks critical
"Research has shown the
first 12 weeks is key to a calf's lifelong potential as a dairy cow. It is a
critical period for rumen development and calves are most at risk of
immune-related problems and disease. It is also the most efficient period for
daily live weight gain." But with feed costs rising by the week, many dairy
farmers will want to make best use of milk they have available while still
wanting their calves to reach target growth rates and do well post weaning.
Developed by Provimi, NuStart provides calves with the benefits of an
effective prebiotic, etheric oils (from herbs and spices) and functional fibre
that helps optimum rumen development, sets them up to go onto grass earlier and
put on maximum weight.
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