Capture the performance

nature intended all along

What is LifeStart?

LifeStart is neither a company nor a product. It is an innovative calf nutrition program designed to bring science-based and sustainable practices to the optimization of dairy performance.

LifeStart helps dairy operations achieve higher performance through its unique focus on early calf nutrition in the first 2 months of life. By applying LifeStart nutritional recommendations, farmers will be able to increase individual animal performance while more effectively controlling morbidity, mortality and their associated costs.

The LifeStart platform provides a source of scientific knowledge on animal nutrition and animal health, completed with results in practice. It aims to promote co-operation within the dairy sector, in order to develop sustainable solutions for an efficient and a profitable dairy industry.


Only 1 chance for a good start

The natural mechanisms of highly efficient growth are available only in the first weeks of life. By allowing calves to attain a higher plane of nutrition during this critical period, this growth is activated. This phenomenon is also known as 'metabolic programming'. The enhanced development of the mammary parenchyma, the gland's productive tissue, plays an active role in enhanced milk production in cows that have been optimally nourished in the first two weeks of life. This requires an intensive feeding scheme to achieve an above-average growth before weaning.

Growth that leads to performance

Professionals about LifeStart

Science and field experts meet each other on the LifeStart platform. Three professionals tell about their experiences. Scientist Leonel Leal explains the research focus on the LifeStart mechanisms. Veterinarian Aagje Kramer tells about the effect on health and growth. Dairy farmer Martin Benning sets forth how LifeStart contributes to the efficiency of his calf rearing.

Leonel Leal


> watch video

Aagje Kramer


> watch video

Martin Benning

Dairy Farmer

> watch video

Sprayfo LifeStart program

A good start requires a thorough approach. In the first 5 days of the calf's life, there are 5 vital steps to be taken which are crucial for optimal natal care, colostrum management, health and nutrition.


LifeStart results can be achieved with our carefully thought-out feeding schemes and the Sprayfo products indicated with the LIFESTART logo on the packaging. This calf milk replacer is perfectly designed to the calf's nutritional needs and the LifeStart calf rearing objectives.

The LifeStart feeding schemes are distinguished by the higher concentration of milk powder per litre of water, to realize the highest possible average daily growth.

View the LifeStart feeding schemes:

feeding and mixing schedule bucket Sprayfo LifeStart 1:6
feeding and mixing schedule for drinking machine Sprayfo LifeStart 1:6

The results

We continuously conduct research into the LifeStart effects in our own research centres as well as in co-operation with independent institutes. Together with dairy farmers we evaluate field experiences. The results are evident:

Growth and development


  • Up to 300 grams extra growth during the pre-weaning phase 1
  • Up to 100% improved basic udder development 2
  • Better feed intake and quicker growth after weaning
  • Ready for first gestation and lactation sooner
  • Up to 40% lower mortality due to higher vitality 3
  • Up to 1,000 litres of extra milk during the first lactation 4
Lifespan of the dairy cow
  • Current LifeStart trials aim to demonstrate that calves benefitting from the LifeStart program are likely to produce milk through to 1/3 lactation or longer, therefore contributing to an increase in overall lifetime production.

1LFA Mecklenburg Vorpommern Dummerstorf 2012. 2Brown et al 2005. 3Faber et al 2005. 4Moallem 2006 / Drackley 2007

Learn more about the Dummerstorf results



First 5 steps

In the first 5 days, 5 steps are crucial for a good start in the calf's life.

Check the 5 steps

Learn more?

On the LifeStart platform you will find more information and research results.

visit LifeStart