Production gains using LifeStart

When we're talking about the LifeStart effects or the long term performance effects of early life nutrition, we're talking about measuring the effects two to three years after we actually did something. This takes a lot of time and a lot of animals to get any type of detectable differences. So, to better understand effects, and not only to better understand effects but to understand the consistency of these effects across different ways of production and different climates, different feeding management, we did a meta-analysis that included studies done on three different continents that put enough number of animals that gives us a confidence to the answer.

Interviewer: And what did you find?

Well, what we found is that just by feeding more nutrients, we get more milk. But, when we correlate the growth that those nutrients gave to the calf, it starts to say that for every additional kilo of average daily gain that a calf has pre-weaning, they will be producing 1500 kilos more milk during first lactation. And that was consistent throughout 12 studies, with no limit to the growth.

I cannot really explain the specific differences between the studies. We know that some studies have resulted in gains that for every kilo you get 3000 kilos of milk. Some studies, for every kilo you get 600 kilos of milk. There are differences in the total amount of production those cows had, differences in the amount of growth that they had pre-weaning. Some people focus on one study. We like the approach of getting the meta-analysis because it gives a more consistent, more reliable response.

LifeStart is not only acknowledging the effect of that early life growth, but it's also acknowledging the effect that colostrum by itself has; where just by giving more colostrum, you can also get more milk. And these effects seems to be additive.

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