The long-term benefits of feeding a high-quality, high-protein diet to calves bring both health and financial rewards for the dairy producer. Data presented at the June 7 Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Webinar by Dr. Mike Van Amburgh of Cornell University, "Back to Basics: Health & Economics of Accelerated Heifer Growth," confirmed how calves are fed has a long-term impact on both production and profit.
When comparing the economics of feeding a conventional versus accelerated growth diet, the table below illustrates the significant economic benefits that can be seen in an accelerated growth program.
The cost of rearing calves in conventional and accelerated programs are similar. Rearing costs are higher per day in an accelerated program, but these calves are fed for fewer days since animals calve earlier. Alongside earlier calving, additional profits were realized sooner through milk production. Bottom line: greater production capability can be realized when early life nutrition management is top priority.
To hear more about Dr. Van Amburgh's studies, and learn more about the benefits of accelerated calf growth program, click here to access the DCHA Webinar.
Always consult with your veterinarian and /or nutritionist for specific recommendations for your operation. Refer to DCHA Gold Standards I for growth rate, colostrum and nutrition guidelines.