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Thriving calves are a pleasure every farm should enjoy. On the flip side struggling calves can be such hard work. The correct combination of care, environment and calf nutrition makes for great calf rearing and thriving calves. Good early life performance programmes the animal to be productive for its entire life so this early stage really is a vital one-off opportunity to get it right. This is because the genes telling the animal to thrive can be turned ‘on’ or ‘off’ in early life by good or poor calf nutrition, and the effect of these genes persists for the animals entire life. Recent research has illuminated the effect early life has on subsequent performance: epigenetics is the name for this study of how nutrition and environment effect the way genes are expressed or not. The research has shown that each gram extra early life growth results in improved lifetime performance, be that increased milk yield in first and subsequent lactations; long lived, productive cows; or beef animals set up to thrive at an early age.

FeedCo focus on expertise and the correct feeds for dairy and beef calf rearing right through to adult animals.

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Milk Feeding – get off to a flying start

Most of the benefit of epigenetic programming is set in the first few weeks of life. Therefore getting the milk feeding element of calf rearing right is vital. FeedCo has developed a quality calf milk replacer range formulated to give your high value dairy and beef calves the best possible start in life, whatever your rearing system and production targets.

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Why choose FeedCo calf milk replacers?

  • Fixed formulation, highly digestible ingredients
  • Easy to mix and excellent flowability
  • Highly palatable
  • Fully traceable consistent raw materials
  • Suitable for dairy and beef enterprises
  • Can be used for bucket and machine feeding regimes
  • All contain natural gut conditioners
  • All powders are amino acid balanced

FeedCo Ultra Skim

  • Protein 23%
  • Oil 19%
  • Fibre 0%
  • Market-leading skim-based powder
  • Highly digestible all dairy protein
  • Skim powders form a clot to enable slow digestion between feeds, high skim powders perform like whole milk
  • Maximum performance and growth in premium calves

FeedCo High Skim

  • Protein 22%
  • Oil 18%
  • Fibre 0.1%
  • High skim based to enable clot formation for smooth digestion
  • High levels of dairy protein
  • Promotes rapid early growth with benefits of skim and whey
  • Ideal to be used in automatic feeding systems.

FeedCo High Whey

  • Protein 22%
  • Oil 18%
  • Fibre 0.3%
  • Whey based dairy protein. Whey protein is used very efficiently by calves under the right management. In these conditions it provides very cost effective dairy protein.
  • High digestible sources of energy and protein
  • Excellent performance and cost effective growth
  • Ideal to be used in automatic feeding systems.
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Highly Digestible Calf Concentrate Feed with Flavouring

FeedCo calf concentrate feeds are formulated to complement FeedCo calf milk replacers and provide excellent digestibility and calf growth. The range contains both pelleted and coarse mixed calf feeds to suit different production systems. In trials coarse mix and pellets tend to perform the same in calf growth – each has its place on farms where they fit and the benefits of one makes it the correct choice over the other. Good concentrate intake is important in ensuring good growth around weaning and in that crucial post-weaning period, so FeedCo calf starter is formulated using only highly palatable ingredients, combined with added flavouring. This encapsulated flavour technology releases a fresh burst of flavour when the animal chews the feed ensuring the intake stimulation is maintained. This blend of traditional ingredients combined with recent flavour developments reach for that extra level of intake and ensure early and continued growth through the post weaning period.

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Balanced fermentation to Stimulate Fast Rumen Development

Rumen development is key to successful weaning. It is known that it is the fermentation of carbohydrates which stimulates rumen development. FeedCo calf feeds use maize and barley grains in combination with sugarbeet pulp which provide the best balance of starch, sugar and soluble fibre. The result is early and healthy rumen development.

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Quality Protein Targets Early Frame Growth

Studies show young calves have a considerable demand for quality protein, so we formulate for this using high quality protein sources. This formulation is providing for frame growth. Calf feeds based on lower digestibility proteins are unlikely to be providing enough metabolisable protein for calves to reach their full growth potential.

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Calf into Youngstock Nutrition

Continued growth in the post weaning into rearing period is key to achieving our goal of early calving dairy heifers, or early finishing beef animals. As the milk intake is reduced we must ensure the calf is eating the nutrients required for growth from elsewhere. The only source of these nutrients concentrated enough for this young ruminant is concentrate feed, and so the calf concentrate must be of an excellent quality, and consumed at high enough levels to sustain high levels of growth without milk. There is a danger of stalling around weaning if this intake, or feed quality is not there, which we need to avoid with the correct choice of concentrate feeds and forage. Getting it right in this period brings benefits later when we have developed good rumen capacity and function to enable the animal to grow well, especially from forage.

FeedCo have formulated compounds to fit the needs of these animals growing through these stages.

Measure and Manage

Monitoring growth provides assurance targets are being met and there are not health issues beneath the surface. Remember calves can be growing less than required yet ‘look ok’ until they are weighed. Looking ok may not be hitting your targets – how are your calves performing? Please get in touch for a calf performance assessment.


Typical Heifer Growth Chart

Growth chart – have a plan for the growth needed and monitor to achieve it. Each farm is unique and the plan with feeds available is tailored to it.