August 2023

New approaches to calf nutrition:

Thinking differently about colostrum and weaning can lead to greater life-long productivity

By Lilian Schaer for Livestock Research Innovation Corporation

There is a strong relationship between health and growth in a calf’s early life and that animal’s total lifetime production. This means what happens to a calf in its first few hours and days is extremely critical, particularly what it is fed.

According to Dr. Michael Steele, a professor in the University of Guelph’s Department of Animal Biosciences, what we’ve known to date about what, how much and when to feed calves is changing and opens new opportunities for producers to impact the long-term health, growth and productivity of their animals.

“You can mold the calf when it is born; we call this developmental plasticity, which is strong early in life and goes down as time goes on,” Steele explained during a presentation at the most recent Healthy Calf Conference, where he focused his remarks on evolving perspectives around colostrum and weaning.

Read the full article here
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