starting calves

Real milk or calf milk replacer?  The latter is the equivalent of baby formula, and you might think the difference would be slight, but no, and this year’s experience is a case in pointcalf2:  the extra bulls we picked up for beef (between our families and the monastery we need a lot of beef) are doing beautifully on surplus milk, but the three we picked up for our neighbors, people with experience in raising calves, never thrived, and at around six weeks they were all dead, yes, doornail dead.  Same batch of calves, same pickup dates, same protocols for rearing — only the milk was different.  Such a high mortality rate is, we admit, not the norm, but fifty percent wouldn’t have surprised us much.  Replacer and real milk are not the same.

4 thoughts on “starting calves

  1. Oh my! Maybe that’s why this year I’ve kept seven calves alive! Other years, if we got two, it was hit and miss if we’d keep even one. It sure is awesome to have a stronger producing cow – haven’t bought a single sack of milk replacer for them. Thankful, thankful, thankful……..

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