Shoreview, Minn. – Land O’Lakes Purina Feed announces the introduction of AMPLI-Calf® Grower, the dairy heifer feed specifically formulated to meet the nutritional and rumen development needs of dairy heifer calves age 12 to 24 weeks.

Based on controlled research studies at Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LongView Research Farm during 2010 and 2011, AMPLI-Calf® Grower demonstrated an increase of 70 pounds more gain (17 percent), 1.2 inches greater growth in height (3 percent) and 4.7 inches greater growth in length (10 percent), a 118 percent beneficial growth in rumen papillae length, a 3 percent feed-to-gain ratio and an average daily gain (ADG) advantage of 29 percent at 24 weeks of age.  In this trial, all calves received a full potential milk replacer diet (28 percent fat, 20 percent protein) until eight weeks of age fed along with  AMPLI-Calf® 22 Starter from day 3 to 12 weeks of age.  At 12 weeks of age, calves were placed on either 4 or 10 pounds of AMPLI-Calf® Grower per day, with free-choice hay.*

An additional study conducted at the Land O’Lakes Purina Feed Answer Farm showed calves could achieve a 62 pound advantage in weight (15 percent), 1.7 inches in height (4 percent) and 3.3 inches in length (6 percent).  ADG on these calves were +0.72 pounds, or 34 percent with an advantage in feed-to-gain ratio of 7 percent.

Five early field trials using AMPLI-Calf® Grower also showed consistent results of 35 pounds additional weight gain (9 percent) by 24 weeks of age, 1.5 inches in height (3 percent) and 0.31 pounds ADG (16 percent).

Rumen development also was studied throughout the first two studies.  Quality of rumen development and papillae length were measured on calves from both feeding programs.  Those calves fed the higher amount of AMPLI-Calf® Grower demonstrated greater rumen wall development, increased papillae length and optimal blood capillary growth known to assist in volatile fatty acid absorption.

“AMPLI-Calf® Grower is an exciting new feed category for dairy producers,” says Dr. Dari Brown, young animal marketing leader for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed.  “We regularlyhear of producers noticing a growth slump in their dairy calves immediately following weaning, even after a good nutritional foundation.  Often, this is because calves are taken off of a diet of milk and starter and transferred right onto a high proportion of forage, supplemented with little or no grain,” notes Brown.  “At this stage of the calf’s development, she really isn’t ready for a high forage diet.  Her body can’t digest and absorb adequate nutrients and energy from the forage she consumes and growth rates suffer.”

While AMPLI-Calf® Grower is formulated for calves age 12 to 24 weeks, the growth advantages can now span the lifetime of the calf.  Land O’Lakes Purina Feed recommends AMPLI-Calf® Starter, the previously-released, break-through technology calf starter feed, is ideal to get calves started from 3 days of age, until they reach 12 weeks of age.  “Following a good start with AMPLI-Calf® Starter, AMPLI-Calf® Grower is the ideal next step to help calves continue optimal growth rates and also help achieve a well-developed, fully functioning rumen that will help a young heifer better utilize forage-based diets and be more productive as a mature cow,” says Brown.

Research presented by Dr. Mike Van Amburgh of Cornell University at the 2011 Western Dairy Management Conference highlighted important facts that support the need for good, healthy growth early in a calf’s life.  Van Amburgh’s research showed that growth rate and nutrient intake prior to weaning has a more direct and significant effect on milk yield than genetic selection for production.  Additionally, when a calf is fed a nutrient supply above maintenance, the calf will be set up to become a better lifetime milk producer.  His research also showed that a one-pound increase in ADG prior to weaning may increase first lactation milk yield as much as 700 pounds(1).  

Land O’Lakes Purina Feed recommends a focus on growth rates, nutrient intake and rumen development starting with healthy, immediate delivery of colostrum at birth followed through with high quality milk replacer, superior calf starter, and now the added advantage of AMPLI-Calf® Grower.

Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC is North America’s leading feed company serving producers nationwide through local cooperatives and independent dealerships by providing an extensive line of animal nutrition, ingredients and expertise.

* Results may vary. Because of factors outside of Land O'Lakes Purina Feed’s control, results to be obtained, including but not limited to animal performance, profits, etc. cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Land O'Lakes Purina Feed.

1- Van Amburgh, M.E.; J. Karzses; R. W. Everett; Taking the long view: Treat them nice as babies and they will be better adults; Cornell University.