Nutrition at Early Stages of Life Determines the Future Growth and Reproductive Performance of Dairy Calves

A dairy calf. Photo taken 04-01-17.

For a calf, nutrition during the first few months of its life may permanently change the way organs develop and then have long-term consequences. The concept that metabolic imprinting may permanently affect animal development has substantial economic implications for agriculture. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes some of the research conducted in calf nutrition and its impact on the growth and reproductive performance of dairy calves. Written by Philipe Moriel and Luiz Ferraretto, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, December 2017.