milk replacer vs raw milk

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by preciouszoo, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. preciouszoo

    preciouszoo Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    I have a question i need answered, i was asking a dairy cattle farmer about whether he would have any colostrum that i could give our new calf when it's born.( we are getting this calf for our other neighbour that is a beef farmer to raise as a family pet for the kids to gain experience) so i wanted to make sure that i have the colostrum available to me when the calf comes. when i asked the dairy farmer if he had some he said "sure, no problem i have some for when you are ready." " if you would like i can also supply you with fresh raw milk insted of using milk replacer as i have extra."
    1. what should i expect to pay for the colostrum?i don't expect if for "free" but the way he was talking he just wants to give it to us. he's just a really nice fellow.
    2. what are the pro's and cons to feeding milk replacer vs fresh raw milk?
    3. what are the pro's and cons to feeding fresh raw milk as opposed to milk replacer.
    3. what should i expect to pay for fresh raw milk? i know that a large bag (20kgs) of milk replacer is $57 (canadian)

    any information would be greatly appreciated, the calf should be born and here in about 2-3 weeks, maybe sooner. i will keep everyone posted.
    sincerely PreciousZoo
    our website:
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    My recommendation would be to offer to pay the farmer extra for them to leave the calf with the cow for at least 24 hours, 48 or 72 would be even better. That way the calf gets the colostrum the natural way.

    Not all raw milk is going to be the same. That from a Jersey is going to be higher in butterfat.

    Run the math on what you would pay for a gallon of mixed up milk replacer. Then offer to pay the dairy that much per gallon of raw milk. Two quarts morning and night is pretty well standard, but I am currently giving a Holstein/Limo. bull calf up to three quarts twice a day as he is a 'poor doer'. I don't think he got enough colostrum off mom. Yep, am getting mustard colored loose stool, but the vet said not to worry about it as long if he seems to be doing OK otherwise.

    Ken S. in WC TN

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    It would seem to me that the beef farmer would be able to let the calf nurse for a day to get colostrum. If not, I think I pay $11.95 for a bag of artificial colostrum, if that helps. One bag is enough for one calf.

    I have never used raw milk to raise a calf, but I'm all for "the closer to mom the better". As long as it is fresh and unconaminated, I think it would be better for the calf, but that is not experience talking.

    Offer to pay the same as milk replacer, or the price of milk. If he declines, then bring him some beef when you get the calf slaughtered.

  4. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    Central MN
    Dairies often end up with surplus colostrum. We would freeze some of the surplus in ziplocks for just in case. It can be thawed it out in a bucket of hot water.

    I would ask for more information on the raw milk. Where is it coming from? It could be the residual milk draining out of the pipeline and receiver jar. If it's being held from just fresh cows and contains alot of colostrum it could cause scours in older calves. It also could be held from cows with mastitis or other ailments and may contain antibiotics. We fed alot of this surplus milk to bull calves with no problems, but it's some things to be aware of.

    One thing I would recommend against is switching back and forth between milk and replacer, that's asking for scours.

    Personally I wouldn't turn down free milk! It's most likely milk that didn't go into the bulk tank and 'probably' isn't costing the dairyfarmer any money other than the effort to catch and store it for you. Maybe you can do him some favors in return, garden produce, eggs,....

    A negative might be having to go and get the fresh milk and making sure you don't run out. Replacer would be more convenient.
  5. bantams

    bantams Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2003
  6. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    If the supply of raw milk were to be iffy, you might mix it 50/50 with milk replacer. That way it wouldn't be such as sudden dietary shift if you had to go to straight milk replacer.

    Ken Scharabok