Recent research has shown that nutrition in the first weeks of life can influence gene expression. This involves training the animals genes to respond in a specific way to maximise traits such as growth, subsequent milk yield and composition.
- Early life nutrition has metabolic effects in later life periods. Pre weaning growth sets life performance.
- Critical periods occur before and shortly after birth. Under nutrition at these vital times have negative effects on metabolic health.
- Quality colostrum feeding is essential.
- Increase the quantity of CMR from 500g-900g/day as part of a defined feeding schedule.
- This can help to maximise pre weaning calf growth, encourage basal udder develop and increase milk production in first lactation.
- Increased pre weaning growth will promote intake of compound feed and therefore rumen development.