At EuroTier 2016, István Bessenyei, young animal feed product category manager, Trouw Nutrition, briefed us on the latest R&D goals for the LifeStart’s pig program.
Nutreco’s animal nutrition division launched the LifeStart concept for piglets at a symposium in May 2015 in the Netherlands.
The aim of LifeStart, said Bessenyei, is to reduce the gap between genetic potential and farm performance from 40 to 20% through a focus on providing better health, management and nutrition in the first six weeks of life.
However, the team is now looking at the window of opportunity for intervention provided from the gestational phase up to six weeks of age.
They said that during gestation the uterine environment is fundamental to optimal development of a sow’s offspring: “In the last trimester of gestation, maturation of the piglet’s digestive system is accelerated. This prepares the fetus for neonatal life and beyond. Nutrition of the peri-parturient sow and her body-condition impacts on the farrowing process and colostrum production.”
Feeding dairy calves
The original target of the LifeStart program was dairy cattle. And ruminant researchers at Trouw Nutrition are continuing to examine the impact of a greater nutrient intake response through elevated calf milk replacement feeding in the first two months of the dairy cow’s life.
Steffen Rouwers, marketing manager, young animal nutrition ruminants, at Trouw Nutrition, was at the Hannover show, and he told us digestibility trials are underway at Nutreco’s new Boxmeer research facility.
The studies are hoping to determine what the optimum fat and protein ratio should be in calf milk replacer, with a particular focus on the impact of such nutrients on the first three weeks of a calf’s life.
The facility, he said, includes the latest technologies in housing and feeding systems to monitor the health, growth and feeding behaviors of both dairy and beef calves.