About Calfage

The most important event in a calf’s early development and growth is a successful weaning from milk, for this to happen, early and proper development of the rumen is crucial. Calfage is an adlib free access feed formulated to encourage early rumen development.

We need calves to eating a balanced mix of digestible fibre and cereals with quality protein for this to happen. Calfage is a balanced feed that helps to ensure good rumen size at weaning while enabling the development of an active efficient rumen microflora . The rumen microflora converts fibre and starch into volatile fatty acids which in turn are the precursors to glucose the energy source for the weaned calf. Ample glucose production minimizes the post weaning growth check in calves. Calfage also minimizes rumen acidosis and stomach upset during the weaning period.

Calfage can be fed adlib to calves from 5 days onwards to develop a rumen microflora population, increase rumen capacity, and drive appetite and growth through the milk fed phase and weaning to maximize early growth and development so as to optimize life time performance in the animal. Calfage is the ideal feed for developing dairy heifer calves and will help them to achieve mature body weight at two years of age when they are coming into the herd to begin their productive life.

Calfage Benefits

Health Benefits

  • Naturally high 18% protein content, rich in digestible protein for muscle and body growth.
  • Includes a wide range of essential minerals.
  • This unique combination grows bone and frame early, an essential part of being a well formed animal.
  • Easily digested by the calf without the overloading that can occur in the early stages on more conventional meals.
  • High in dietary fibre offers the important scratch factor that stimulates the rumen into action, preparing it for a lifetime on grass. During the digestive process the cellulose in the Calfage is broken down and the nutrients released for easy digestion. This natural fibre allows the stomach’s fauna culture to develop and therefore process those nutrients more easily in the same way will be done while the animal is on grass at a later stage.
  • At the same time the physical size of the Calfage forces the rumen to stretch in preparation for bulky grass.
  • It is the ideal PH to encourage rumen microbial growth.
  • Contains naturally occurring yeasts that feed the rumen daily with bacteria stimulating flora culture development for optimum digestion and rumen development.
  • A grass compatible system that develops the rumen to suit grass digestion and reduces the post weaning check.
  • Easily assimilated soluble carbohydrates.

Improved Growth Rates

  • A healthy start in the calf’s life results in better weight and growth rates, meaning that animals enter the milking herd earlier.
  • It leads to a reduction in heifer calving ages.

Cost Effective

  • Less wastage.
  • Achieves very high cost effective growth rates, and prepares the calf for a seamless transition from liquid to solid feed.

Convenient To Use

  • Weatherproof bag that allows storage near the rearing operation.
  • Calfage is a Total Mixed ration (TMR) - Less labour intensive as all feed is given together.

Calf Rearing System

Your young stock of today is your future herd:

  • Calves need to maximise their growth rates in order to achieve lifetime performance targets
  • The feed conversion efficiency achieved in the first 6 weeks of life is the best over their whole lifetime. (Ref 1: Economics of heifer rearing)
  • Calf rearing influences the long term performance of the mature animal.

Feed Colostrum

In the first 6 hours of life calves require 3 litres of colostrum

  • This can be achieved by 20 minutes of continuous sucking
  • Colostrum is of most benefit to the calf in the first 24 hours
  • It becomes less valuable to the calf in the following 72 hours

Lying Area

  • Cosy, draught free
  • Clean
  • Well ventilated
  • Eliminate draughts and areas of stagnant air

Feeding – Milk or Milk replacer

  • Mixing rate should be constant
  • Feeding times should be regular
  • Feed volumes should be built up to 2.5 litres twice a day over 10 days
  • Feed milk at body temperature
  • Have access to adequate clean water
  • Use a multiple teat feeder instead of buckets as sucking on the teat is better for calves, it is more natural and leaves less scours and sickness

Introducing fibre and concentrate to young calves

  • Calfage is the ideal solution
  • Introduce from 5 days onwards
  • Allow calves free access
  • The higher intake of solid feed at weaning time ,the easier and less stressful weaning will be for the calf

At what age should a calf be weaned?

  • Calves on Calfage will have conditioned the gut and digestive system to take over nutrient supply from milk
  • At approx. 8 weeks of age calves should be consuming 1.5 kgs of Calfage and then can be weaned off of milk onto Calfage only
  • For this to happen successfully it is important that consumption is at 1.5kgs/head/day at weaning
  • Wean over a 2 week period as it leads to less stress during the weaning process.

What is Eclipse Calfage?

  • Eclipse Calfage First Feed has been developed to set up calves quickly from as early as 5 to 7 days old producing a strong calf with a strong rumen
  • The rumen is the first compartment of the stomach of a cow is not developed in a new born calf
  • In a well developed rumen food is collected and returned to the mouth as cud for chewing


  • On a Calfage complete diet calves should suffer little stress, no loss of condition and hence a good healthy performance
  • Ensure Calfage is available ad-lib from here on
  • Ensure free access to water
  • These calves can be weaned off of expensive milk diets onto ad-lib Calfage diet with little or no check in growth rates ( Ref 2: Post Weaning Growth Check) for the next 6 to 10 weeks

Improved Growth weights

  • A healthy start in the calf’s life results in better weight and growth rates, meaning that animals enter the milking herd earlier
  • Leading to a reduction in heifer calving ages
  • It has been proven in studies that heifers that grow faster in the first 65 days of their cycle calve earlier, have higher 1st lactation milk yields, last for more lactation (much more desirable cow) and have less incidence of disease. (Mastitis etc.)

Time Management

  • Is less labour intensive as all feed is given together
  • Calfage is available ad-lib so calves are less likely to be hungry
  • A hungry calf leads to a stressed animal and reduced thrive


  • Calfage rearing system achieves very high cost effective growth rates, and allows for early weaning from milk
  • Calfage is a unique, alkaline, palatable calf feed

Ref 1 - Post Weaning Growth Check

A calf with an underdeveloped rumen shows up at the weaning stage when the calf typically shows lack of thrive and in some cases become unhealthy due to its inability to digest grains and forages. The calf’s body is not ready to digest and absorb adequate nutrients and energy from the forage consumed and growth rates suffer. This leads to a post weaning growth check. Ensuring optimal rumen development in this earliest phase of a calf’s life is the essential physiological factor in the avoidance of post-weaning check and is something all calf rearers should be conscious of.

Post weaning growth check is influenced by various factors including stress of weaning, depressed appetite due to inadequate rumen development and increased disease incidence (pneumonia).

It makes sound economic sense to have fully utilised this important preweaning phase to adequately develop the epithelial and muscular layers of the calves rumen for this important post weaning phase.