HealthyLife HealthyLife

The HealthyLife program focuses on the transition to lactation.

A practical, science based program that helps farmers increase the Lifetime Daily Yield of their dairy herd by focusing on:

  • Increased milk production per lactation
  • Increased laction per cow
  • Reduced involuntary culling rate

Supporting the lactation of a dairy cow has an enormous impact on milk production.  

3 adaptations are necessary for a successful first lactation:

  • Digestive

  • Immune

  • Metabolic

Trouw Nutrition's HealthyLife program offers a sustainable approach to help the cow ease into the transition to lactation.

HealthyLife - Targets*

Involuntary culling rates of less than 5% during the first 100 days in milk.


Involuntary culling rates in heifers of less than 15%.

Heifers producing at least 73 to 75% of herd average during 1st lactation.

Cows reaching peak production within 50 to 70 days after calving.

Cows reaching at least 5 lactations.

Key Factors Affecting Transition to Lactation and A Cow's Lifetime Production

How can you provide support during calving?

Calving is a risky period, both for the cow and the calf. There are however several things that can be done to ensure a smooth calving process, preparing the calf for a good start of the rearing period and the cow for a successful lactation.

  • Stress-free calving facilities
  • Good hygiene in calving area
  • Allow time for an adjustment to the calving area
  • Provide care for the calf and cow immediately after birth
  • Optimize cow’s dry matter intake for the first 7-10 days after birth

What is negative energy balance and why is it important?

During the last two weeks of gestation, the dry matter intake of cows goes down while their energy requirements go up, as a result of growth of the calf and the start of colostrum production. In the first few weeks after calving, milk production increases faster than dry matter intake does. As a result, dairy cows will be in negative energy balance. This could potentially lead to subclinical or clinical ketosis. Managing the Body Condition Score correctly throughout lactation can help reduce the possibility of cows going into negative energy balance.

What is Hypocalcemia?

Hypocalcaemia is the medical term for milk fever. Cows with blood calcium levels below 2.0 mmol/l without clinical signs are classified as suffering from subclinical milk fever, cows with blood calcium levels below 2.0 mmol/l with clinical signs are classified as suffering from clinical milk fever. The problem of subclinical milk fever is often underestimated, for every cow in the herd with clinical milk fever, there are another 4 cows with subclinical milk fever.

There are a number of management measures that can reduce the incidence of subclinical and clinical milk fever:

  • Manage BCS
  • Ensure calving is hygienic and stress free
  • Optimize dry matter intake around calving
  • Provide extra calcium after calving


HealthyLife concepts are important to focus on for the future success of a sustainable local dairy industry. With HealthyLife, and the focus on managing the transition into lactation, we have the ability to improve lifetime performance. This leads to profitable dairy producers, continued focus on environmental sustainability, as well as the maintenance on animal health/welfare and the sustainability of consumer trust.
Chelsea Gordon, Director Dairy Technology Application

Explore the BCS For Your Herd

Explore the Body Conditioning Scoring Interactive for Measuring the Health of A Herd: >Before >During >After Calving
Dairy nutrition advisor contact

Looking for more information?

Connect with one of our dairy nutrition advisors to talk about next steps.

*References available upon request*