Feed Different Age Calves - same Milk Replacer Concentration

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Brett Enright

Jul 22, 2004
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Teesdale, in Victoria, AUSTRALIA
I have 5 calves currently. In the beginning I did mix up separate ratios of milk powder to water, but seeing as I have 3 different age groups, it was difficult & time consuming, I still go to school (am 16) and have a VERY basic home made setup.

My calves were scouring, till I came up with this idea (please pick at it as much as u all like!):
- Feeding ALL my calves the SAME concentration of milk replacer as the YOUNGEST calf drinks, in the hope that extra volume consumeed by older calves will both make up lost nutrition AND/OR stimulate older calves to eat pellets when hungry sooner.

I'm really unsure if this system works, but the calves are thriving, eating more pellets, bouncing round the paddock, & best of all not scouring.

The ages of the calves are:
29 days
20 days
14 days

Here is the analysis of the calf powder alone:
Crude Protein: Min 25%
Crude Fat: Min 18%, Max 22%
Crude Fibre, Max 0.5%
Added Salt: NIL
Calcium: Min 0.8%, Max 1.7%
Phosphorus: Min 0.8%, Max 1.7%
Sodium Chloride: Min 1.2%, Max 2.1%
Lactose: Min 38%, Max 42%
Energy 2037kj/100grams

My question is, what is the biggest age difference there can be if I'm feeding many different age calves on the same milk concentration


Is there a concentration that is OK for ALL ages if fed Adlib or As needed, beacause currently I feed twice a day, 2.1kg powder dissolved in 17.5l cool water.

What am I doing wrong? I'd like to get another few calves this weekend, but then there would be about a 20 day age difference. But I'm a student and need the quickest method possible.

Going by the analysis, can anyone suggest a standard concentation, because I'm sure that cows do not alter their milk concentrations due to their calf's increasing age!!!???

Brett Enright.
All of the milk replacers I'm familiar with are made to be fed with a standard mixing ratio. It's normally one of the supplied measuring cup per a given volume of water. In the US that 2 quarts. Increasing the over all volume of the standard mixture as a calf ages is ok, but not really required. By the time a calf is big enough to be in that increased volume stage it should be eating a good calf starter grain and maybe nibbling at some grass hay. The keys are to mix as specified on the package and use a high quality milk replacer. High quality milk replacers are those that are made from milk and milk by-products, not soy or any other not milk ingredients

I use the same concentration of milk replacer no matter what age the calves are.. in the winter I increase the concentration because the calves need/use more energy to keep warm.

I agree w/ dun.. I use "all milk" milk replacer.

Right now I have 12 Holstein steers.. 6 from last fall.. 6 from this spring
Ok. The calves have full access to pasture (green, very long grass) and pellets, and some straw for roughage.

I'm just wondering, from the analysis shown, can anyone suggest a standard concentration/ standard ratio?

Thanks :D

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