Choosing a milk replacer for your individual system

Located in Dunhill, Co. Waterford, Noel Murphy is milking a 200 Holstein Friesian autumn and spring-calving herd, alongside rearing replacement heifers and finishing his bull calves.

The pre-weaning period is crucial for Noel as he believes this is the time that massively impacts long-term performance.

According to Noel, giving close consideration to quality colostrum, calf housing and the addition of a high-quality calf milk replacer has played a vital role in improving growth, health and immunity in his new-born calves.

Once the calves are born, they receive colostrum up to day five, before transitioning to a high-quality milk replacer using an automatic calf feeder.

Noel has also invested in a newly built ventilated calf shed, where calves have access to a dry deep straw bed, starter feed and clean water.

Ensuring that calves are disease free is also crucial for Noel, hence why calves are fed calf milk replacer over whole milk from the parlour which may contain traces of antibiotics.

Introduction to ProviMilk® Calf Milk Replacer Range

Noel was first introduced to the ProviMilk® Calf Milk Replacer Range four years ago by Michael Luttrell, ruminant sales nutritionist with Cargill Animal Nutrition.

He originally began feeding a whey-based calf milk replacer, ProviMilk® Elevator; however, he then switched to a skim-based calf milk replacer, ProviMilk® Premium, last year.

According to Michael Luttrell: “Farmers are increasingly recognising the growth and health benefits of feeding calf milk replacers and investing in nutrition. However, in order to get the biggest return on investment, it’s critical that you choose the most suitable calf milk replacer for your own individual system.”

Take a look at Noel’s results in the video (below).

Deciding between skim or whey based

Exactly which powder is best for your calves – skim or whey – will come down to your individual rearing system and objectives.

“Having worked closely with Noel over the last number of years, it became clear that his rearing system and objectives were changing over time,” said Michael Luttrell.

“Noel not only required a product suitable for both his dairy and bull calves, but he was also looking for a product with a higher protein, energy and fat content to encourage further growth and development, especially during the cooler months.

“The ProviMilk® Calf Milk Replacer Range includes a number of different products that can be matched to a number of different calf production systems. For Noel, our skim-based calf milk replacer, ProviMilk® Premium, was chosen as the most suitable product to meet his rearing system and objectives,” he continued.

For further calf rearing advice or to view any product from the ProviMilk® Calf Milk Replacer Range, simply click here