Calf rearing is one of the most important aspects in dairy management as it dramatically impacts animal performance for the remainder of their productive life.
- Provides an immediate source of Megasphaera elsdenii.
- Aids in transition from liquid to dry feed.
- Smoother weaning of calves.
When a calf is born, the digestive system functions like that of a monogastric animal. The rumen begins to develop as the calf starts to consume solid feeds. Early development of the rumen is crucial for efficient utilization of solid feeds and for maintaining performance and health of the calf following weaning.
Important aspects of rumen development include rumen size, wall thickness, and the size and density of papillae. Two of the volatile fatty acids produced during fermentation of solid feeds, propionate and butyrate, play a prominent role in the development and growth of rumen papillae in the pre-weaned calf. The main function of papillae is to increase the surface area of the rumen in order to increase absorption of nutrients, which considerably impacts the calf's ability to ingest and utilize energy and protein in concentrates.
Megasphaera elsdenii and Lactipro Advance®
Megasphaera elsdenii is a natural rumen microorganism that converts lactic acid in the rumen to butyrate and propionate, and also converts glucose to butyrate. Lactipro Advance® consists of a highly resilient strain of Megasphaera elsdenii which was isolated from a concentrate-adapted, high producing dairy cow. Drenching pre-weaned calves with Lactipro Advance® provides an immediate source of Megasphaera elsdenii in the gastrointestinal tract of the calf which supports optimal rumen development.