Milk Replacer and Prime Elite 23 (2015)

Why feed Milk Replacer over whole milk?
• Performance
-A good quality milk replacer e.g. Prime Elite 23 generally outperforms whole milk.  
-Whole milk contains very high levels of fat/energy.  This delays solid feed intake, rumen development and ultimately weaning. 
• Scour
-Milk Replacer is consistent and acidified to improve digestion and decrease scours 
• Health
-Feeding antibiotic milk can reduce calf performance (milk taint) and greatly increases the risk of antibiotic resistant organisms.  
-Feeding whole milk greatly increases the risk of spreading disease e.g. Johne’s disease.  
-Feeding high TBC/SCC milk is not good for calf health and should only be fed if pasteurised.

Milk Replacer Quality (what to look for in a milk replacer)
• Quality of Protein:
-Ingredient quality: Quality milk protein sources (Skim Milk Powder or Concentrated Milk Protein) are superior to vegetable sources.  
-Production method: CMP (concentrated milk protein) - made from ultra-filtrated whey gives higher levels of Immuno-globulins (Igs which promote healthy growth). 
• Protein Level-Higher levels promote lean growth.
• Oil Level-Higher levels promote growth (high energy).  
• Balanced vitamins & trace elements
• Low ash level-Ash levels above 7.5% increase the risk of scour (particularly at high mixing and feeding rates).
• Easy to mix

• Fixed formulations (based on meeting quality standards, not least-cost) to produce consistent results on farm
• Easy-mixing powder
• Contain Gardion, a natural gut conditioner to encourage good gut health
• Comprehensive supplementation with vitamins & trace elements to promote and support fast healthy growth
• Flexible-suitable for ad-lib, computerised and once-a-day feeding systems


Mixing Rate

Once-a-day and ad-lib feeding:
• Aim for same amount of powder in half the volume but note 3.5L is probably close to the maximum feeding volume in any one feed.  Also note calves should not be moved to once-a-day feeding until three weeks old.
• Mix at 22% concentration i.e. 220g of powder with 780ml of water will make approximately 1 litre of mixed milk.
-Feed 3.5L x 1 feed per day i.e. 3.5L or 770g of powder per head per day
• With restricted feeding systems it is very important to feed calves at the same time each day (this is particularly important for once-a-day systems).
• Higher feeding rates are possible with ad-lib systems and computerised feeding as these systems feed little and often.

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Why feed milk replacer versus whole milk