AB Neo is looking for more dairy farmers to take the “40 day challenge,” which entails using Axcelera-C in a new way to wean their calves at 40 days, saving time and money and producing high performing calves pre- and post-weaning. This will be the focus of a free advanced calf rearing seminar at Eurotier on Nov. 16. The company will introduce “The Advanced Weaning Program—a new way of delivering accelerated lifetime performance in dairy cows.”

Axcelera-C from AB Neo is a highly palatable high lactose (40%) pellet for accelerating calves’ development. On-farm results show it is the link between liquid milk and starter feed, increasing rumen development by stimulating earlier solid feeding and greater dry matter intake.

Since its launch in 2015, farmers have been using Axcelera-C successfully as part of their existing rearing programs. More dairy farmers are now using the new Weaning Program that equips the calf to wean at 40 days while accelerating pre- and post-weaning performance. The program uses less liquid milk and results in excellent animal performance.

Referring to the program, Malcolm Beaton, AB Neo general manager, said, "In recent years a great deal of academic research has focused on feeding more milk to calves compared to the classic 'limit-feeding' approach designed to stimulate earlier starter feed intakes. Calves struggle to intake and then digest starter feed in the first few weeks, so if we feed a calf more milk, it grows faster.”

Academic meta-analysis of first lactation performance from these faster growing calves is purported to increase milk yield, which is attributed to these growth rates. However, very often in the practical application of a Higher Plane of Nutrition program, farmers can struggle with scour issues, and when weaning, calves can lose any extra weight gained due to poor rumen development.

Up to now, farmers using Axcelera-C in the conventional way have been able to reduce the growth check at weaning, experience reduced scours and improved vitality in conjunction with higher levels of milk.

Progressive farmers in the UK and U.S. who are using the advanced program have been able to wean at 40 days, and many are using fewer veterinary medicines and antibiotics. The improved condition, energy levels and vigor in calves is complemented by a noticeable change in body shape, plus increased body depth and rumen capacity, setting the animal up for a lifetime of higher performance. This program enables farmers to put more calves through their system and reduce the management time and costs associated with mixing and feeding liquid milk.