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Calf Milk Replacers

  • 07-10-2021 4:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,529 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    Currently we use Volac Blossom milk replacer. Start off twice a day with 2L, ramping up to 3L and then onto 3L once a day, before tapering out.

    Seen recently there is an option called Shine Once-a-day:

    Has anyone used it and got a comparison with the Blossom? I know that Blossom can be once per day too, but Shine seems to be making some claims in their advertising that the others don't in regards to digestion and contentment.

    As Covid comes to an end we'll be back in office more and if we could avoid feeding twice daily it would be a benefit.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,695 ✭✭✭ Dakota Dan

    Shine once a day is skim based and reduces scour, I used it on two occasions when I wasn't using whole milk, the first time I got great results but the last time I used it it wasn't as good. It put a shine on the calves first time I used it which was 2013 last time was 2018 and switched from whole milk to shine and the calves coats got scruffy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,975 ✭✭✭ Base price

    Are you going to be feeding dairyXbeef calves or dairy heifer calves because there is a world of a difference in the economics of both. Dairy farmers will and are prepared to feed high volumes of cmr (grams) and for a longer period in order for the heifer calves to achieve weaning target weights. The same isn't economically viable with dairy x beef calves.

    When it comes to cmr I look at % of Protein, Fat and Ash, whether it's predominantly made up of skim, whey, vegetable/wheat proteins and the ratio of each, the rate of grams/head/day for feeding young sucks to weaning and finally the price.

    We normally use a 33% skim cmr (125g tad rising to 500g oad) and buy in 1.5 ton pallets but due to Covid I had to use Shine OAD this Spring and Autumn of last year - we only reared about 100 calves. It's expensive when you break it down to grams per head per day but in fairness we didn't have any issues with it. We always introduce calf crunch from the day that the calves arrive and try to get them on OAD after they are 6 weeks old. We chose it because it was the only skim based cmr available to us at the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,529 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    DiaryXbeef. We're only small scale / hobby / PT farming so would be talking about small numbers here - single digits some years, up to 20 max.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,975 ✭✭✭ Base price

    I have no experience of Blossom and don't if it's a % skim or whey based cmr.

    Shine OAD has a recommended (from memory) feeding rate for oad of 700g/hd/day which imo is not viable for dairy x beef calves.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,529 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    i think it is whey based.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,975 ✭✭✭ Base price

    I'd prefer to use a skim based even if it's 10/12% however as I said earlier you also have to look at protein, fat and ash content. A nutritionist told me years ago that young calves (under 21 days) don't fully utilise protein levels over 18%.