More than a simple nutritional program, LifeStart provides a comprehensive platform that the farm advisor can use to offer a number of related services. Although LifeStart is specifically about nutrition, creating the conditions for successful implementation of the LifeStart program entails heightened vigilance regarding a number of general farm management issues:
- Comfort: the calf rearing environment should be bright, soft and well ventilated
- Consistency: a large number of studies have established the importance of adhering to a regular feeding schedule.
- Colostrum: neonates should receive 4 litres of high quality colostrum within the first 6 hours of life
- Calories: calves should receive 150 g/litre of LifeStart approved calf milk replacer or pasteurised whole milk
- Cleanliness: calves must benefit from hygienic birth conditions and housing
Whilst these are common goals that all farmers should adhere to, the LifeStart program provides a new impetus to improve efforts in each of these areas. Achieving higher performance demands enhanced vigilance in farm management and even the most sophisticated performance measures can be compromised by basic lapses in hygiene and calf care. LifeStart can be used to obtain a higher commitment to exemplary care.