As farmers, we know that the first few hours and days of a calf's life are crucial for its growth and development. One of the key factors in this process is the milk the calf receives. While some farmers choose to rely on the heifer’s milk, others opt for calf milk replacement powder. In this blog post, we'll delve into the importance of using calf milk replacement powder and highlight some of the best products on the market.
Optimal Nutrition for Growing Calves
Calf milk replacement powder is specifically formulated to provide young calves with optimal nutrition levels to support their growth and development. The formula consists of easily digestible milk proteins, nutrient-rich vegetable proteins, and essential oils that are vital for a calf's health. This high-performance formula guarantees that your growing calves have the best possible start in life.
Colostrum Quality Decline
Colostrum is the first milk produced by a mother that is jam-packed with essential nutrients and antibodies that help to protect the calf from infections and immune-system related illnesses. However, the cow's colostrum quality starts to decline shortly after the calf's birth, losing up to 4% quality per hour. This rapid decline in quality makes it critical to milk cows within two hours of birth and give the calf at least 3-4 litres of colostrum. After this initial period, the calf is introduced to replacer milk.
Reduced Dry Feed Intakes
Excluding water from a young calf's diet can have a significant impact on their growth, reducing dry feed intakes by 60% and growth by over 25%. To prevent this from happening, it's essential to offer additional water along with their regular milk or milk replacement feed. This will help ensure that your calves stay healthy and hydrated, leading to maximum growth potential.
Top Calf Milk Replacement Powders
At Meirion Davies, we stock a wide range of the best milk placement powders on the market, at competitive prices. Some of the best options include Downland Fresh Start Elite, Downland Fresh Start Whey, Downland Fresh Start Heifer, Downland Fresh Start Premium Calf Colostrum, Volac Calfpride, ForFarmers Vita Milk Classic, ForFarmers Vitamilk Premium, and ForFarmers Omega Gold, as well as our own blend, MD Superglow. Each of these products is formulated with the necessary nutrients to promote optimal growth and development in young calves.