1000 litres milk extra in the first lactation?
Proper targeted feeding and care of your calves in the first two months of life produces up to 1000 litres of extra milk during the first lactation. This message was spread by Sprayfo in for example advertisements and on this website. How does Sprayfo reach such a conclusion and what evidence does it have? Product Manager Eile van der Gaast explains.
You claim that proper targeted calf rearing leads to as much as 1000 litres of extra milk in lactation. Where did you get this amount from?
“A calf's udder development can only be influenced – either positively or negatively – in the first two months of life. The key is the calf's growth: if it's growing strongly, udder development will be good.
This was demonstrated in a trial by Brown in 2005. Strong growth at rearing also means better development of mammary tissue. If growth over the first two months of life is retarded, then this lag can no longer be compensated after the third month using extra concentrates.
Additionally, a large number of trials have established the connection between growth before weaning and milk production in the first lactation. A concrete result of these studies is that one gram extra growth per day at weaning provides 6.7 litres more milk in the first lactation!”
What is needed to realise an extra 1000 litres?
“The answer to the previous question already suggests that stronger growth is required at weaning. In the Netherlands, growth per day at weaning is 600 grams under normal conditions. In Sprayfo Life Start trials we achieve more than 800 grams a day using an intensive milk-feeding programme. If we assume 200 grams extra growth per day x 6.7 litres extra milk production = 1340 litres extra during the first lactation. But we state 1000 litres of extra milk to be on the cautious side.
The extra growth is realised by focusing carefully on proper calf rearing and an intensive milk-feeding programme. This involves not only Sprayfo, which is fed in high concentrations owing to its excellent dissolvability and digestibility, but also a suitablefeeding schedule and active support for the dairy farmer. These are the core elements of the Sprayfo Life Start Concept.”
Can any dairy farmer achieve these results?
Not everyone will manage such extra yields, as growth may already be very healthy. However, in practice three quarters of dairy farmers will benefit from major gains. Many dairy farms already take a big leap forward simply by recalibrating the drinking machines and adapting the feeding schedule.