Nurture Research Center Facility

Nurture Research Center Facility


Industry-Leading Calf Research

The Nurture Research Center is a state of the art calf research facility dedicated to furthering our understanding of calf management and nutrition.

Built in 1999, work done at the Nurture Research Center facility has contributed to more peer-reviewed calf publications than at any other commercial, university or government facility.



Facility Overview

Research at the Nurture Research Center is focused on two stages of development. Pre-weaning research is conducted in the Nursery, while post-weaned calves are studied in the Grower unit.


Nursery Unit (0-8 weeks)
  • 2 rooms, 50 pens in each
  • Natural ventilation with curtain sides
  • Clear polycarbonate roof and retractable shade cloth
  • 4’ x 8’ pens with deep straw bedding
  • Calves are fed and weighed individually
Grower Unit (8-16 weeks)
  • 24 pens
  • Groups of 4-5 calves
  • Housed in a super hutches
  • Fed and weighed as a group
Data Collection - Every Trial
  • Temperature/humidity (hourly)
  • Feed offered and refused (daily)
  • Fecal score (daily)
  • Medical treatments (daily)
  • Calf weight (weekly)
  • Body condition score (biweekly)
  • Hip width (biweekly)
  • Hip height, Heart girth and Paunch girth (beginning and end)
Data Collection - As Dictated by the Procedure
  • Digestibility
  • Markers of immunity (serum IgG, tumor necrosis factor and various interleukins)
  • Blood constituents (glucose, urea nitrogen, BHBA, etc.)
  • Intensive measurements of body temperature and posture


Calf Research Findings

Work done at the Nurture Research Center has contributed significantly to the scientific community and our understanding of calf nutrition and management. Below is a list of some of the many discoveries made at the facility.


  • Amino acid requirements of neonatal calf
  • Fatty acid requirements calves < 5 months old
  • Crude protein requirements of calves < 5 months old
  • Energy requirements of calves < 5 months old
  • Feeding rates of milk replacer and feeding programs
  • Digestive and immune system maturation
  • Crude protein and carbohydrate sources for dry feeds
  • Feeding and management for heat and cold stress
  • Alternative proteins for milk replacer
  • Housing management
  • Use of feed additives


Peer-reviewed Contributions

Nurture Research Center research is published in the Journal of Dairy Science and the Professional Animal Scientist Journal. Notable publications include research on the amino acid requirements for calves less than 5 weeks of age and the responses to key and essential fatty acids in calves less than 16 weeks of age. Both areas are "firsts" in the field of calf nutrition and are gaining the attention of calf researchers and calf nutritionists worldwide.



Technology Overview

Results of research trials at the Nurture Research Center have been used to develop milk replacers, starters, and grower feeds that are unique to the industry. Here are some of the technologies available to calf raisers.

  • 20+ trials per year
  • 200-head one-time capacity
  • 50 calves arrive every 5 weeks
  • 60+ peer-reviewED publications




NeoTec4 provides essential fatty acids which are deficient in milk, milk replacer, starter and growers. These functional fatty acids generally support the immune system and promote healthy body weight gain, structural growth, and feed efficiency.




NeoTec5g® provides all of the benefits of NeoTec4 and more. We have added three factors that have been research proven to support healthy digestion, metabolism and absorption.




AmNeo® is our amino acid balancing technology. Research has also found that several essential amino acids are deficient in milk and milk replacer, by supplementing these specific nutrients we are able to promote healthy calf performance and feed efficiency.




Complement® is a milk derived functional ingredient that supports healthy immune function post gut closure.