Calves grow faster on highly digestible protein

Newborn calves gain more weight in a shorter time when a specialty soy protein is added to their pre-starter feed. At 100 days old, the calves weigh an average 4.7kg more than a control group on a standard pre-starter with soybean meal – giving producers a strong return on investment.

The findings are from a new feeding trial, which has evaluated the performance of HP 300 from HAMLET PROTEIN. Conducted at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland, the results are the latest confirmation of specialty soy proteins’ beneficial role in young animal nutrition.

Supporting the transition to ruminant

HP 300 has been specially developed with a low content of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) to support calves through their transition to ruminant in the early weeks of life. It is during this period that an inefficient energy supply from the immature rumen can lead to a so-called weaning dip when calf growth comes to a temporary halt – extending the fattening period.

During the 100-day trial, the calves were first fed a standard diet of colostrum, followed by whole milk and calf milk replacer. The calves were offered pre-starter feed from day three – either the control feed containing 30.7% soybean meal or the test feed with 24.9% HP 300.

Consistently higher daily weight gain

Calves fed HP 300 grew consistently faster throughout the trial, showing an average daily weight gain 5% higher than the control group. By the end of the trial, the calves on HP 300 were an average 4.7kg heavier.

“The most important finding here is the calves’ continuously higher growth, which does not stop during weaning,” comments Christine Brøkner, Technical manager at HAMLET PROTEIN.

“This is linked to the minimal content of ANFs in HP 300, which makes it highly digestible.”

Profitable returns

The calves on HP 300 also had a slightly higher feed intake. However, when feed costs are compared with the additional revenue gained from the calves’ higher live weight, the study shows a profitable return on investment for producers.

“The study confirms that calves on HP 300 get a nutritional headstart that helps them reach their target weight faster. Producers can either choose to slaughter calves earlier and reduce days of feeding, or they can slaughter at a fixed age when the calves are heavier,” says Christine Brøkner.

Events with Hamlet Protein

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Providing the right nutrition in the first life stage determines the overall lifetime performance of the animal. Our soy-based specialty ingredients improve health, welfare and performance of young animals. That is how we deliver a strong return on investment to producers around the world.