It’s Youngstock Month: Feeding Pasteurised or Raw Milk to Calves

Should you invest in Pasteurisation?

Pasteurisation of milk improves health and weight gains

The quick answer: YES!

The evidence is overwhelming to support the feeding of pasteurised milk to calves. They have been proven to grow faster, disease risk is lower and mortality rates reduce!

Preweaning health and performance is significantly better in calves fed pasteurized waste milk as compared to calves fed a traditional 20:20 milk replacer feeding program:

  1. They had fewer sick days, lower mortality rates, lower costs for health expenditures, higher weights at weaning, and a higher gross margin ($8.41/calf) per calf
  2. Their Average daily Weight Gain (ADG) was significantly greater in calves fed pasteurized waste milk (0.46kg/day)
  3. Preweaning mortality rates were 83% lower for calves fed pasteurized waste milk (2.3%) than for calves fed milk replacer (11.6%).

Losing a heifer calf means losing genetic improvement in the herd, the investment of feeding a pregnant cow and the investment of time in birthing and rearing. Invest in a pasteurisation machine and it will definitely pay off!


Where is the Evidence?

Try reading more on:

  1. S., Godden. 2008. “A review of issues surrounding the feeding of waste milk and pasteurization of waste milk and colstrum.” University of Minnesota: Continuing Veterinary Education. Accessed January 24, 2019.
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