Data-driven Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Our new heifer rearing programme to offer data-driven results aligned to your KPI's

Data-driven Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Advanced Heifer, the youngstock rearing division of Advanced Ruminant Nutrition, have launched a new data-driven programme to produce healthy animals and increase longevity within the herd.

Heifer performance and longevity has a huge impact on the overall profitability of farm businesses. Research shows that heifer rearing is still not a key focus for many dairy farms in the UK, though it is an area that Advanced Ruminant Nutrition is passionate about.

Liz Newman and Julia Wadeson, Heifer Rearing Specialists who lead the division, are confident they can save clients’ money, both in the long and short term, through their heifer rearing program. Liz continues, “On average, we save £10k per year on rearing costs for the client’s that we work with, improving heifer performance throughout the rearing period and maintaining it into lactation. We do this by analysing the farm’s own data, to highlight key areas of improvement and make suggestions bespoke to that system. This is then supported by doing a farm audit, to ensure we gain a comprehensive overview of herd performance.

Julia adds, “It’s not just the first 10 weeks of life that we focus on. We analyse heifer performance from calf through to calving, including their subsequent lactational production, fertility, and longevity. This way we have a firm understanding of what is happening on farm, as every dairy system is different. Our wealth of experience and knowledge, and ability to interpret your data cohesively, sets our service apart. We highlight the current productivity, profitability, and efficiency of your heifer rearing system and collaborate with the full farm team, and industry experts, to help create a path towards better lifetime performance.”

The team focuses on five key areas of development, from when the calf is born through to the time  the heifer enters the milking herd. They use farm-specific feeding plans, tailored protocols, and evidence-based advice to achieve customer goals.

Julia Wadeson describes the five stages of achieving optimal heifer performance:-

Stage 1 or “Kickstart” is the foundation stage of heifer development and is key to setting up the calf for life. Colostrum management, rumen development, weight gain, and health are essential during this stage. Here, we set targets to maximise lean growth and internal development and we frequently monitor, measure, and manage to make sure we achieve our targets.

Stage 2 is “Development”, where we target further rumen development, and skeletal and muscular growth, during the most cost-effective period of the rearing process.  Our focus is on providing farm-specific feeding plans, tailored protocols, and evidence-based advice for optimal growth.

This takes us onto stage 3, “Fertility”, where we ensure heifers start cycling at 12 months old, by achieving 50% of mature bodyweight. Here, we drop growth rates to a more sustainable rate, to prevent excess body condition, but maintain skeletal growth to strive for the targeted height of 90% of mature stature.  

In the 4th stage, “Transition”, we concentrate on reducing stress and providing the right nutrition to support calving and lactation. Our program focuses on energy-controlled diets pre-calving, to prevent excess body condition whilst achieving 90% of mature bodyweight, and energy-dense diets post-calving, to support the pressures of milk production.

“Sustainability” is the final stage, where our total farm approach means that we regularly monitor herd data to ensure that heifer performance, cull rates, fertility, and milk production are all improving. Heifers must reach a minimum of 1.5 lactations, and produce 82 – 85% of mature cow yields, to cover their costs, so producing healthy and strong replacements that last is essential for both sustainability and profitability.


If you’d like to find out more about the Advanced Heifer programme and experience the benefits of data-driven solutions for a sustainable future on your farm, then please get in touch using the details below.

For general enquiries please contact Advanced Nutrition Office, 01524 263 139 |

Liz Newman, Heifer Rearing Specialist

07722 147 982 |

Julia Wadeson, Heifer Rearing Specialist

07930 885 851 |




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