Can young animal nutrition help future-proof the farming industries?

Exactly 1 year ago, Royal Agrifirm Group launched Earlyfeed, the group’s daughter brand dedicated solely to young animal care and nutrition. On this first anniversary, we took the time to look back on the launch of the Earlyfeed brand and to get a glimpse of the future. A little spoiler of our conclusion: Earlyfeed feels confident that its 360° approach to young animal care and nutrition is ready to play a crucial role in overcoming the most pressing challenges in the swine, poultry, and ruminant farming industries.

Delphine Van Zele, product manager swine for Earlyfeed: “The launch of a dedicated brand for our young animal nutrition portfolio marked an important milestone for our company. It emphasizes our expertise in this specific area and lays focus on the fact that doing everything ‘Right from the start’ – this is the Earlyfeed brand’s baseline – is essential to obtaining long-lasting added value in terms of animal health, welfare, and performance.

With total concepts such as START+ and Aim for Zero, supported by flagship products such as Babito® and our Babi®mel and Babi®star ranges, we traditionally have a strong position in the piglet nutrition market. The even more dedicated approach under the Earlyfeed brand is right now steering new additions to our portfolio, with Babi®mel Grow – a soluble milky prestarter – as a nice example.

Day by day, together with our R&D department, we are looking for innovative and reliable nutritional solutions that offer proven benefits for the early development of newborn animals. From the very first days and weeks of the animal’s lifecycle, our expertise brings long-lasting added value in terms of animal health and performance.

Starting from the idea of rearing stronger, more vital and resilient piglets from the sow until the post-weaning stages, we have already shown that the health and performance benefits that go with this, are an important aspect of maintaining swine farming success after the implementation of the zinc oxide and antibiotic bans throughout the EMEA region.”

Rearing stronger, more vital and robust piglets helps to maintain swine farming success after the ZnO ban.

Delphine Van Zele, Product manager swine for Earlyfeed

Stefan Alius, product manager poultry for Earlyfeed, agrees: “While we offer a very broad expertise to the market company-wide, there is no doubt that an adequate and knowledge-based approach to the early life stages of the animals is the foundation of successful farming.

Especially given today’s challenging market circumstances, targeted efforts towards the early development of the chicks are one of the most effective measures to manage a cost-efficient lifecycle. With high raw material prices, and meat prices that are hesitant to follow, poultry farmers need to invest wisely.

Data gathered from numerous farms throughout the EMEA region have clearly shown that consistent and high-end solutions such as our crumble chick feed GalliFirst have very interesting ROI. Focusing on a healthy early development of the chicks can prevent issues such as inflammation and coccidiosis. In fact, reducing problems throughout the lifecycle, eliminating excessive fall-out rates, and stimulating early feed intake and growth don’t require rocket science. Improving chick quality and robustness by doing everything ‘right from the start’ already goes a very long way. This will also be the basis for future Earlyfeed innovations: we start from the demands of the day-old chick and translate this into solutions that help farmers tackle their future challenges. Especially in the EMEA region, these will also include innovative answers to the increasing scrutiny in terms of circularity and animal welfare.”

“Given today’s challenging market circumstances, targeted efforts towards the early development of the chicks are one of the most effective measures to manage a cost-efficient lifecycle.”

Stefan Alius, Product manager poultry for Earlyfeed

Harrie van der Vliet, product manager ruminants for Earlyfeed: “Personally, I often use the image of a dairy cow being a top athlete that needs to perform at its best, every single day. And calves that struggle in the early life stages will never win the Olympics later. In fact, adequately guiding the calves’ development in the first 12 weeks will show tangible results in performance, even several years later. A healthy rumen development and a smooth transition from milk to solid feed are some of the most determining factors.

To help farmers get the most out of the genetic potential of every calf, we will very soon be launching some new solutions in addition to our existing products such as RumiStart. Inspired by what the market needs and developed based on advanced scientific knowledge, a new range of milk replacers will soon be available under the RumiLac brand name.

But while developments in our R&D centers are imperative to keep fulfilling market demands, our most important place is not inside the lab. As experts in young animal care and nutrition, we are most often found right next to the farmer. Throughout the EMEA region, our local support teams assist customers with a lot more than top-notch products alone. With knowledgeable advice relating to management, housing, ventilation, … they help to create the ideal context for our products to live to their promise: to contribute to healthy and profitable rearing strategies right from the start.”

“Dairy cows are top athletes. And calves that struggle in the early life stages will never win the Olympics later.”

Harrie van der Vliet, Product manager ruminants for Earlyfeed

Do you want to get things right from the start?

Getting your rearing strategies right early in the production cycle, pays off in the long run.
Together, let’s give the youngest animals everything they need to perform well later in life.

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