The use of whole milk replacer for calves (milk replacer) began a long time ago, but this product has gained wide popularity in feeding young animals only in recent years. Studies have shown that if you feed calves of milk replacer, this reduces the risk of infection by microbes, allows you to solve the problem of lack of milk in cows, increases the number of milk yields and farm profits. In our article we will tell you how to properly use dry mixes and how to choose them. We will also reveal some secrets of experienced breeders.
On the need for powdered milk
Feeding calves with powdered milk is a cost-effective solution that allows farmers to increase profits.
The bottom line is that most of the farm income comes from the sale of milk. But scientists estimate that about 7% of milk yield is spent annually on feeding babies. By transferring the calf from mother's milk to dry mixes, these losses can be avoided. It is important that such a scheme does not harm the health of the baby, but, on the contrary, allows increasing the survival rate of newborns.
Currently developed many milk replacer with a wide variety of recipes. A special role in the composition of dry mixes is assigned to an antibiotic. For example, a substitute for mother's milk called "Kormilak" protects babies from diarrhea, which is the main cause of their mortality in the first weeks of life.
Quality substitute is the basis of calf health.
In order for the milk replacer for calves to really help nursing babies, and not cause them to die, one should carefully select the choice. A quality blend should contain the following ingredients:
- dry buttermilk;
- whey powder;
- vitamins: B, D, C, K, E;
- vegetable and animal fats;
The presence of these components indicates that the product is really good, recommended for rearing calves. The same "Feed", for example, contains, in addition to the above, grain, premix and fodder yeast. All this is necessary for kids for full development.
Types of substitutes
The use of breast milk substitutes is that they are designed to meet the characteristics of the body of newborn calves. The composition of the mixture includes only those components that the baby can digest. Then the newborn can be fed up without the use of whole milk.
On the basis of consistency, the milk replacer for calves can be divided into three types: liquid, concentrate and dry mix. The first type is distinguished by the fact that it does not have to be diluted - it is already ready for use. But this is a problem, since it has a short shelf life, and because of the large volumes it is inconvenient to transport.
The second and third group of substitutes require dilution before use, in accordance with the instructions on the package. Both options are widely used in farms and can completely replace cow’s milk without affecting the budget.
Benefits of Substitutes
The special advantage of powdered milk for calves, because it can be stored for a long time, without fear that the mixture will lose its nutritional properties. It is for this reason that dry mixes are most popular with farmers.
As for the composition of the products, in any substitutes there are antibacterial drugs that help prevent the reproduction of harmful microbes in the baby’s body. This significantly helps grow calves, because you can not worry about the fact that they will develop a gastric infection.
Another advantage of dry mixes are probiotics, prebiotics and organic acids, normalizing the work of the gastrointestinal tract, because most of the diseases of young bulls are associated with problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
Production and types of dry mixes
Most novice pastoralists often wonder how to raise a calf, because it is hard and responsible work. It is not surprising that breeders are frightened by caring for babies, since in the first months after their birth they are especially vulnerable, their life is completely in the hands of the farmer.
In growing calves, dried milk comes to the rescue of livestock breeders, which can completely replace whole milk, because its basis is a natural product. By thickening and drying the milk, the mixture is made by combining the resulting powder with useful ingredients.
Dissolving milk replacer should follow the instructions, which can be found on the packaging. Powdered milk can be divided into three types: whole, skim and instant. To consider that one of them is better is wrong, since they have a very slight difference in composition. But, it should be noted that the fat-free mixture has the longest shelf life.
If you decide to drink calf dry mix, then you need to figure out how to choose it correctly. Before buying milk replacer, it is necessary to examine the composition indicated on the label. The list of components that characterize a high-quality mixture, and the level of their content in dry milk, are shown in the table:
Please note: high fiber content leads to the fact that useful components are not fully absorbed. This causes the slow development of calves.
Fiber is a component that swells when it enters the intestine and causes it to overflow. If you see flaxseed in the milk replacer, it is not recommended to give his calf, as it gives a knitting effect. It is better not to buy such mixtures, despite the low cost.
The benefits and profitability of milk powder
The first mention of the creation of powdered milk was still in 1792, but in our country, its production began only in 1832. Today, in many farms calves are given this product, which is able to completely replace breast milk. The peculiarity is that, depending on the season, its composition does not change.
The invariance of the composition allows you to track the progress in the development of the baby, feed on this substitute. In addition, when feeding calves with dry mixtures, the risk of infection with many diseases transmitted from cows is reduced: mastitis, intestinal infections, anthrax, rabies, jaundice.
But the main reason for which more and more farms are switching to feeding calves from milk replacer is economic profitability. Due to the fact that whey remaining after cheese making is the basis of dry mixes, the resulting dairy product becomes not only useful, but also economically beneficial.
Substitute breeding scheme
It is estimated that 28-40 kg of the mixture is consumed per calf. But, in order for the product to be used to be effective, one should know how to dilute dry milk. An important rule: the mixture is diluted only before giving it to the baby, as in the finished form, it quickly loses its beneficial properties.
You can give a substitute of whole milk to babies, after they have reached 20 days. However, quality blends can be used at an earlier age. When breeding milk replacer, it must be remembered that the temperature of the finished mixture should be 35-38 degrees.
On each package of milk powder there is an instruction. For breeding milk replacer, you must carefully observe the proportions, otherwise you will not get a quality solution for feeding your baby. The process consists of two stages. First, the required amount of powder is diluted in a small amount of hot water and interfere with the solution until the lumps completely disappear. Then the resulting mixture is brought to the desired volume and temperature by adding the right amount of liquid ...
Substitute Use Rules
The period of dairy feeding calves lasts up to 4 months. During this time, the proportions in the needs of milk powder will vary. Experienced breeders believe that at an early age, in order to fatten a baby, 7 kg of whole milk or 1 kg of dry milk should be given per day. From 5 weeks they give him about 5 kg, which equals 750 g of a substitute. At this stage in the life of the calf, hay is introduced into the diet, so the consumption of the substitute is reduced.
Farm hygiene needs to be monitored very carefully. Buckets, from which they water their cattle, must be kept clean. Water calves cold mixture or milk is prohibited. First, they can catch a cold, and secondly, cold milk and milk replacer is poorly digested.
There are two options for feeding babies milk replacer. The first calf feeding scheme is at normal weaning (at 12 weeks). The second - with early weaning (5-8 weeks). The instructions detail how to dilute the dry milk, but in what quantity to give it, depends on the type of weaning the calf from the mother,
There are two types of weaning: normal and early. Early weaning is designed to reduce calf milk intake. Both feeding schemes are listed in the table:
At normal weaning, starting at 12 weeks of age, calves are given dry milk, hay or mixed feed in a ratio of 4 liters per 1 kg. Over time, the amount of hay and feed increases.
Currently, in the domestic market there is a lot of milk replacer, but you should choose only proven brands. From the Russian products we recommend "ProLac-16", "Kalvokvik", "Neolak". If we talk about imported products, then the following brands deserve attention: Sloten, Vreugdenhil, Nutrifeed, Vegnel, Joosten Products, Schils. There is no fundamental difference between domestic and foreign manufacturers, so choose the company you like.
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