Cattle rarer are increasingly discovering the health benefits of investing in nutrition and feeding calf with the best milk. Though choosing to feed calves with milk replaces is such a big decision, it has several advantages that can affect the cattle’s lifelong performance.
Every cattle rarer wants the best bottle of milk for their calves and the main factor in choosing a calf milk replacer to suit their needs. Quality nutrition aids the calves to feel active, healthy, and happy which makes them more productive.
What makes a calf milk replacer unique?
Not all calf milk replacers are similar and one thing that makes them different is the quality of their ingredient and nutritional value. Knowing the differences between them will serve as a great guide in choosing the best milk for the calves instead of depending on just the price and availability.
Be patient to learn about the differences between the milk replacers to make informed purchases, thus, it is recommended to go for calf milk replacers that have a great blend of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Calves tend to grow well and healthily when fed with the right milk that meets their needs.
The crude protein and crude fat levels
Crude protein and fat are the basic ingredients that make a calf milk replacer and embody the product’s formulation. Crude fat is a high energy source that provides the calves with high carbohydrates and the necessary fatty acids. Crude protein is also a great source of amino acids that calves need.
Protein is the most essential and costly part of the milk replacer and has to be at least 20% or higher and should be made up of all milk proteins that are; dried whey, dried whey product concentrate, skimmed milk, and casein. During winter and other cold-weather periods, the calves will need higher numbers to obtain more protein energy.
When going in for fat, look for a milk calf replacer that contains at least 20% of fat or higher and it should be sourced from animal fat and plant or vegetables; higher fat levels for energy levels are needed when it is cold for the calves to be more productive.
Alternatives to avoid
There are some soy or plant-based proteins to avoid and this includes soy flour, soy protein isolate, protein modified soy flour, and soy protein concentrate. It is equally recommended to avoid animal plasma, wheat gluten, or glycine max which is the scientific name for soybeans. It is important to be familiar with it because sometimes it can be used to hide the fact that soy has been used in the milk replacer.
When making changes to a calf’s diet or feeding program, it is important to talk about it with a herd nutritionist. There is no single particular milk calf replacer that contains the perfect solution for feeding the calves.
Before settling for a milk replacer, evaluate its quality, and assess how the calves are performing with their previous and present milk replacer. Irrespective of the chosen calf milk replacer, ensure that the calves should grow well and not look hungry. Always keep in mind that, feeding calves is an investment and not only an expense.