Milk replacer is an important part of the calf rearing process on many farms, as it has many nutritional and disease prevention benefits.

With the spring-calving season just around the corner, it is time to begin the plan to feed calves and what you will be feeding them.


It is important that calves receive adequate amounts of colostrum soon after birth, farmers should follow the 1,2,3 rule.

Using the 1,2,3 rule:

  1. Use the first milk (colostrum) from the cow;
  2. Feed the calf colostrum within the first two hours of birth;
  3. Calves must be offered at least 3L of good quality colostrum.

Once a calf has received colostrum, they can be switched to milk replacer without it affecting performance. But many farmers choose to continue feeding calves their mother’s milk for the first three days of life.

Milk replacer

On many farms milk replacer is not fed to calves, with whole milk being fed until weaning. Although this is a cost saver, it can have a negative impact.

The risk of disease spreading is increased by feeding whole milk to calves, with disease such as Johne’s disease possible being passed through the milk.

Using a milk replacer offers calves protection from these diseases. But if you feed calves whole milk or milk replacer, it is important that the calf is provided with energy and protein which is critical to support and maintain their normal bodily functions.

Sample prices

Agriland has put together a table of some sample prices that farmers can expect to pay for milk replacer ahead of the spring-calving season.

Milk replacerBag size (kg)Protein (%)Cost per bagCost per kg
Auctus Turbo Thrive2021.5%€47.002.35
Auctus Champion2023.5%€47.002.35
Bonanza Shine-once-a-day2020%€62.003.10
Bonanza Shine 2020%€47.802.39
Lakeland Dairies CalfSmart 232023%€50.002.50
Lakeland Dairies CalfSmart 252025%€53.002.65
Volac Heiferlac 2026%€60.003.00
Volac Blossom Hi-Spec 2025%€55.502.76
Golden Maverick 2023%€47.002.35
Wicklow Calf Pro 2521%€63.752.55
Wicklow Calf Excellence 2523%€68.752.75
Gain Shine 2020%€55.502.76
Gain Easi-Mix 2025%€56.002.80
Gain Easi-Dual 2023%€51.002.55
Nutrias Nutri Start 2023%€49.992.50
Nutrias Nutri Start Plus 2025%€57.992.90
Dairygold Prime Elite 232023%€54.002.70
Dairygold Prime Elite 25 Plus 2025%€59.002.95
Liffey Mills Elvor Performance 2525%€59.002.36
Interchem ProHeifer 2525%€70.502.82
Interchem Pro Calf 2525%€59.102.36
Interchem Omni Pro Calf 2525%€66.602.66