Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

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greggy
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Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:52 am

Hi all,

A vet was telling me powdered milk is just as good as the various milk replacers aimed at us.

It kinda makes sense that it should be ok.

However, I was looking at ingredients for both a local powdered milk, and the milk replacer, could not find exact details.

But the powdered milk for us has the below,....

Ingredients
Full Cream Milk, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)

What are your thoughts....they def smell different.



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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by TCRanch » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:26 am

I would never give a calf any replacer with soy - they can't digest it.

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by Buck Randall » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:46 am

The soy lecithin in powdered milk is only used as a preservative and shouldn't cause any issues with digestion like soy proteins would. I've got no experience with feeding powdered milk to calves, though.

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by alisonb » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:52 am

Milk replacers are usually formulated from by-products of dairy processing adding animal fats(tallow mostly as far as I know) plus vitamins & minerals. Some MR's include probiotics, antibiotics & antibacterials...

It most MR's a curd is formed in the abomasum of the calf like cows milk and as it is digested nutrients are slowly released.

Recently read an article and found this interesting - do we always stick to the directions on a pack -

"Too frequent feeding of too much milk replacer can lead to abomasal-induced milk bloat. This occurs when the newer clot envelopes the old, partially digested clot of milk replacer, reducing the opportunity for gases to escape and causing distension of the abomasum. It can also lead to overfilling of the abomasum and the spilling over of unclotted replacer into the intestines: a certain cause of calf scours."
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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:32 pm

I have fed them 2 lots of the local store human powdered full cream milk.

They suckle it all down no drama, is a very different smell and no doubt taste, but, it is prob basically cows milk. No unusual effects so far, no difference in stool noticed as yet.

I guess the vet would not give very sloppy advice, however, it works out no cheaper. But is far more convenient, and will work for urgent times, as the stores that sell this are basically open every day till night, and you can buy by the kilo.

I was a bit surprised by lack of exact ingredient detail, but, it also was not found for my milk replacer.

Would the normal milk or mothers milk not curdle naturally anyway in the stomach ?

And, how often is too often ?

I have usually done twice day, then moved to once as soon as I could, but I had a few ill, and so I went to 3 times with a couple, but, use no more powder than the daily amount.

Milk replacer also has scour effect if rich in powder, and prob any quick change will prob have a scour effect.

But I am yet to see a calf that does not scour, they all seem too, here and there, I just watch that it does not continue, or become basically water.

I expect them to get loose when first feeding them milk after travel an who knows what they just went through, it usually hardens up after a few days....are you guys expecting none at all....

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by Buck Randall » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:18 pm

Always mix milk replacer using the ratio on the label; too thick or too thin is the cause of most digestive problems with milk replacer. Feed at least twice per day, but three feedings is better. By the time a calf is a week old, they should be drinking 6 quarts a day. Especially in colder weather, 4 quarts is barely enough to survive, let alone grow.

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:10 am

Hey Buck,

But if you follow instructions down here, they all say twice a day or once, with once usually being twice the powder of twice.

What I di, is give approx the max powder per day split over how many feeds I intend.

I am not sure more water hurts, more than the max powder, or too rich by cutting water can def be a problem.

The other consideration is what else is being consumed.

I am just not convinced that all cows provide the exact ratio all the time ๐Ÿ˜€

I am open to listen to experiences.......

My best group ended up with a watered down, once a day, then every other day milk feed, but they ate everything put in front of them....

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by TCRanch » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:25 am

Buck Randall wrote: โ†‘
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:46 am
The soy lecithin in powdered milk is only used as a preservative and shouldn't cause any issues with digestion like soy proteins would. I've got no experience with feeding powdered milk to calves, though.
Thanks for the clarification, Buck!

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by Buck Randall » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:00 pm

greggy wrote: โ†‘
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:10 am
Hey Buck,

But if you follow instructions down here, they all say twice a day or once, with once usually being twice the powder of twice.

What I di, is give approx the max powder per day split over how many feeds I intend.

I am not sure more water hurts, more than the max powder, or too rich by cutting water can def be a problem.

The other consideration is what else is being consumed.

I am just not convinced that all cows provide the exact ratio all the time ๐Ÿ˜€

I am open to listen to experiences.......

My best group ended up with a watered down, once a day, then every other day milk feed, but they ate everything put in front of them....
Very interesting. If any products are labeled that way in the states, I'm not aware of them. Here's a good article that explains proper mixing of milk replacer and the appropriate percentage of total solids.

https://www.dairyherd.com/article/total ... it-matters

The percentage of total solids in cow milk isn't always consistent, but the cow can get away with it because milk is more digestible than milk replacer.

Substituting milk replacer for water near weaning is a nice way to transition calves away from drinking milk. In our climate, you just have to be really careful that you aren't filling their stomachs with too much water and not enough calories. Calves can go backward quickly when the temperature goes below freezing.

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:42 pm

I never let them drink water from a teat, they have to do that from a bucket or trough.

The trick is, to get them eating and develop rumen asap, you can only do that by not overfeeding milk, unless you like feeding them milk and the work and cost.

At the same time, it prob really helps some of them.

I have some that were basically onto hay diet when I got them, they were a bit small and pot bellied, got a month of milk twice daily into them with good quality hay and pellet, and are filling nicely with the pot belly look going or gone.

I will see how this last group go, as have been giving the 2 daily milk feeds instead of the once the other group had. There are some beefy little calves in there in prior group, I think it would be hard to out perform them, they are vigourous eaters of anything dished up. By far much better than this twice a day milk group, but it may come down to my lack of time and some getting ill, it is easy to get side tracked....in other words, it is not a controlled study ๐Ÿ˜€

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by MurraysMutts » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:23 pm

I have raised 3.
All 1 at a time.
I've never raised a group so ymmv.

Always bottled twice a day as per directions.
Always had a couple days of scours.
Totally agree on absolutely no water from a bottle. Goes into the wrong compartment when ya do that. They drink water from a bucket. Idk
Start grain/feed immediately. I've always started by hand feeding. They like me to kinda drop it in their mouths as they look longingly up to the sky! Lmao
I finally had to stop that with my newest one. She wouldn't eat from a pail. Only from my hand. Had to pen her up for a day in an 8x8 pen with her pail of feed and some water. Wouldn't ya know, she figured it out. I cut her bottle to once a day until that bag was gone. Full feed since then. Easy sailing...

Never tried the powdered milk. But imagine itd beat nothing in a pinch for sure! Ive been using the ultra24 multi species. 24 percent protein. No soy.

Good tip!! Thanks!
Crossbred for high bread vinegar....

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:32 pm

Have a re read of directions....all bags here have recipe for twice day feed and once. Maybe it is there ?

The one I got yesterday is simply double powder for once daily...

The prior one calls for slightly less, prob cause it may be stronger...

When stronger rate you increase stomach upset chance...so none say once day till first doing twice daily.

I also would look at condition and animal size as well as other intake...never been good at following rules.

If they readily eat starter regularly and say at least a lb....I would be going to once....even at normal mix rate.

Cause if hungry...they will eat more starter, and always limit hay.....need belly to fill with protiens and nutrients....not hay or straw ๐Ÿ˜€

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by darcelina4 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:39 am

I raise lots of bottle calves. I've had many calves that have never had any scours. I have raised them on various milk replacers, whole milk from the store, fed by nurse cows, and grafted onto foster cows in the pasture. The ones grafted or just fed by nurse cows did the best and were the healthiest. The ones on the best all milk 22/20 non-medicated milk replacer also did very well. I prefer Nutrablend brand. The Dumor Ultra 20/20 all milk they did fine. The whole milk from the store did cause some scours and was way too expensive. Now for the fails- any milk replacer that had soy or sprayed plasma caused scours and/or bloat or colic symptoms. The first year I had three calves I got in the summer that I struggled daily to keep them alive thinking it was the heat. Nope-the cheap milk replacer with soy turned out to cost me alot in medicine. Within a couple of days of switching back to the 22/20 all milk, they turned around. We have strict protocols for bottle feeding calves that we found works for us. They only get tweaked slightly ever. The basic plan- feed 2 qts milk 6am, 6pm, fed at 103 degrees. Water bucket in pen from day one. From day one, after every bottle, stuff a handful of grain in their mouth and have a mineral feeder with grain in the pen where they can find it. Keep the calf dry and out of the wind. Raise in pairs. No hay until eating 2 pounds of grain a day. Then add hay. Once eating 3 pounds of grain a day 3 days in a row, start reducing milk and wean over a week. Keep increasing grain upto 6 to 8 pounds a day for 6 months or more. Vaccinate at 2 to 3 months and a month later. I've had good luck doing calves this way. I've only had a few deaths. I've got some calves from some pretty scetchy people. Some of my healthiest calves have been from the salebarn. I've raised dairy, dairy cross with beef, and all beef calves. When I say dairy, I mean jersey, shorthorn, Guernsey, or crosses. Only every had 2 holsteins. I raise mostly beef calves. I would not do the powdered milk as I dont know how that is with the protein and fat levels.

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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by alisonb » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:04 am

Darcelina4 wrote - "Now for the fails- any milk replacer that had soy or sprayed plasma caused scours and/or bloat or colic symptoms"

That has been my experience. A new born calf up to 3 weeks cannot digest vegetable or plant fats. Once the rumen starts developing it is fine.
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Re: Calf milk replacer vs powdered milk.

Post by greggy » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:31 pm

The powdered milk is same as milk in bottle when mixed with water....it was consumed no prob.....but does not work out cheaper.

If it comes on sale, I will buy enough for a few weeks and try it properly.

Re scours, I would probably say when on milk alone, and for first few feeds, stool will be loose.

Cant really be normal till enough fibre to bind it together...but should not be like water...

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