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Calf milk replacer vs Raw milk


calf milk feed

Calf milk replacer can be fed after feeding colostrum milk (first milking). There are two types of milk that can be fed to calves: whole milk or calf milk replacer. Over 75% of livestock farmers use calf milk replacers - but why?


Calf milk replacers has several advantages compared to whole milk.


Constant composition

The milk replacer's composition stays constant if it's prepared consistently using the correct amount of water and powder. The constant composition is based on a fixed fat and protein percentage. Calves consequently get the same quantity of nutrients everyday. This consistency in feed ensures gradual digestion and no stress in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing the risk of diarrhoea.


Contains sufficient vitamins and minerals

CMR is produced to precisely meet the needs of calves and has a composition that is tailored to their requirements and delivers continuous quality. In this way, feed offers optimum support for health and development. At the end of the day, higher growth in young calves leads to higher production and greater longevity for dairy cows.


Free of pathogens

There is no risk of vertical transmission of diseases, which is possible with raw milk.


Contains less fat

The lower fat content makes it easier for calves' roughage uptake, which is important because calves eventually become ruminant cows. Better roughage and concentrate uptake, which is directly related to better rumen development, is made possible by gradual digestion and consistent composition of milk substitutes.


Higher roughage and concentrate uptake during weaning are essential for preventing or reducing weaning dip and as a result delayed development. In this regard, it's crucial to continue giving the calf enough energy in the form of concentrates and roughage even when cutting back on the milk feed timetable.


Easy to use

This may sound odd because whole milk is produced by the cow, but milk replacer is easier to use because with whole milk you are always dependent on milking times, milk from cool tanks must be heated before feeding, or there isn't enough milk for all the calves. In comparison, you prepare milk replacer for when and where you need it, it's always correct, and you are responsible for the temperature and consistency.


Added health benefits

Adding health benefits is always an option for the livestock farmer. The added health formula in calf milk replacer contributes to optimum intestinal and airway health, which in turn leads to higher growth rates proven in trials on CAIR and the IMAGRO health concept.


IMAGRO contributes to optimal gut health and fat digestion. The gut health formula supports the entire gastrointestinal tract of the calf and includes organic acids that have antimicrobial properties, pre-biotics (GOS) and probiotics which support optimal gut flora, and an emulsifier that contributes to optimal fat digestion. The unique emulsifier supports the uptake of nutrients, digestion of feed and a robust immune system. Another benefit is the reduction of faecal disorders, so calves have less diarrhoea and more energy to grow.


CAIR supports respiratory health and is a blend of herbs and essential oils that contributes to the natural cleansing capacity of the lungs and free airways.


Antibiotic resistance

Roughly 20 - 25% of livestock farmers still use whole milk, which could be tank or waste milk. Waste milk is the term used for potentially high cell count milk or antibiotic milk that cannot be stored in the tank. On the one hand, it creates a use for an otherwise useless product and a way to save money but there are risks involved. Since the composition is unknown, antibiotic resistance is a possibility.

The goal of feeding calves is to increase their rumen and gastric flora. Flora is broken down by antibiotic milk, thus having the opposite effect. Some livestock farmers give older calves antibiotic milk because their rumen and gastric flora is already highly developed and the antibiotic milk will do no harm.


Watch the full video here:

For more information on Kalvolac Classic or Kalvolac Classic Cair, and how it can benefit you, contact one our sales representatives nearest to you: www.lionelsvet.co.za/sales-team.


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