The most common complaint of nutrition suppliers (additives mostly) is that they cannot get (easily) into large (mega) farms. It appears to them that such mega producers prefer to use simple nutrition programs without much in terms of added (modern) nutritional supplements. There are many reasons why such large operations prefer simple nutrition programs, and some are offered here for discussion.
Large parent animals produce large offspring that grow rapidly and efficiently. At least this is the general perception and it is true to a certain point. But it is not the whole truth, because the maintenance needs of large-framed animals are often ignored, or rather expected to be roughly the same across all genotypes, within a given species.
Miracles happen, people change. But these two things have yet to materialize in the animal nutrition business in which I have been engaged in for the past 30 years, under any and all roles I have played. I write this blog having specific people in my mind, and they are not coming from just one company or even one continent, but these comments apply to all of us.
Nothing is wrong with feed additives. In fact, in the right hands, they can be used with tremendous efficiency, like proper tools for the right job. And, this is what additives are: tools for specific jobs, either to solve a problem or enhance a function.
No matter the region, production system or breed, dairy cattle appear to suffer from six very common problems related to the intensive conditions under which they are raised and kept throughout their productive lives.
By avoiding large meal portions, and frequent meals, without letting the calves go hungry between meals (by offering free access to a high-quality starter dry feed), bucket feeding can be as successful as bottle feeding.