Properly pasteurized whole milk can be a great source of nutrition for young dairy calves. However, there is a lot of variability in the nutritional profile of whole milk, not to mention fluctuations in the supply available. Learn how you can help boost performance in calves fed a pasteurized milk diet.
Variable Calf Nutrition
total solids in pasteurized whole milk can vary as much as 6.58 percent on individual farms with protein variation of 7.9 percent and fat variation of 17.3 percent.1
In addition, pasteurized whole milk can lack crucial vitamins and minerals that dairy calves require2
. Whole milk is deficient in vitamins D3 and E, all seven essential trace minerals and five of eight essential B vitamins.
There are several factors that can contribute to calf nutrition variability in pasteurized whole milk, including:
Waste milk is often a combination of transition milk from recently fresh cows and milk from treated cows. The composition of waste milk can vary greatly depending on the ratio of transition cows to sick cows.
Not agitating the waste milk as frequently or thoroughly as salable bulk-tank milk, lack of cleaning and sanitation of feeding equipment and incomplete pasteurization can all lead to a variation in nutrition levels.
No one’s perfect. On occasion, wash water can enter the waste milk supply or pasteurized milk isn’t stored properly.
Feeding Dairy Calves a Balancer
Reduce the nutrient peaks and valleys associated with feeding waste milk by supplementing with LAND O LAKES® Pasteurized Milk Balancer®
Milk balancers contain a level of protein similar to whole milk and a low level of fat, which helps encourage calf starter feed intake. As an added benefit, balancers can contain a feed-through fly control larvacide
, as well as Bovatec to control coccidiosis.
Research showed adding a milk balancer to the whole milk ration can improve calf performance. A field trial conducted on an Arizona calf ranch3
found dairy calves fed a milk ration enhanced with pasteurized milk balancer gained 17 percent more from birth to weaning compared to calves fed just pasteurized waste milk. The fortified group also had an 8 percent improvement in hip height, 7 percent longer body length and 35 percent larger heart girth.
Extend Calf Milk Supply
A pasteurized milk balancer can be used with added water to extend waste milk supply instead of using salable milk to reach the quantities needed to feed.
Deliver consistency in the diets of dairy calves fed pasteurized whole milk with LAND O LAKES® Pasteurized Milk Balancer®
1 Yoho, W.S. et al. T 132 Variation of nutrient content and bacteria count of pasteurized waste milk fed to dairy calves. 2017.
2 Dave Wood, director of technical services and sales, Animix, LLC, 2013. Vitamin and trace mineral levels as reported by the USDA and calf requirements as reported in the 2001 NRC for dairy cattle.
3 Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products Company field trial. 2009. Arizona calf-raising operation. Non-balanced pasteurized milk vs balanced pasteurized milk