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Boost your calves’ growth rates by 15pc with Milkshake


Eric Jennings and Sam Sweetnam

Eric Jennings and Sam Sweetnam

Eric Jennings and Sam Sweetnam

Milkshake, originally formulated in 1987, is Ireland’s leading additive for milk or milk replacer to support the health of the calf and aid digestion.

Initially when formulated, the primary idea was to allow the feeding of whole milk to calves, while also reducing the level of milk scour. It’s more than an acidifier, so although it contains organic acids – Milkshake is a complete milk booster.

Traditionally, farmers were using Milkshake with whole milk and were extremely happy with the accelerated growth performance, thrive and overall health of the calf. In recent years, many farmers have made the switch to milk replacer and have found that by continuing to add Milkshake to the milk replacer, they have also seen the same increased level of increased performance. This demonstrates that Milkshake also has a performance benefit for milk replacer used both by bucket feeding or through an automatic feeder, as well as whole milk.

Since its initial launch in 1987, Inform Nutrition has continued to develop the Milkshake to have other key health and performance enhancing benefits for calves. These are what make Milkshake number one for ensuring calf health and thrive calf.

The benefits

Studies conducted by Teagasc, along with the experience of farmers, have demonstrated that feeding calves milk fortified with Milkshake improved performance. Overall, Teagasc found that liveweight gain was 15pc higher for calves fed Milkshake-fortified milk compared to those which were not. This was due to two main factors.

Firstly, milk consumption increased without causing problems with calf scour. Secondly, there was also an improvement in milk digestibility due to the improvement in milk curdling and, thus, availability for digestion and absorption.

All recent research shows that the more growth a calf pre-weaning can achieve, the more milk that calf will give over her lifetime lactations. By maximising the growth rate of calves, farmers will find that their heifers reach breeding age sooner and have an improved ability to withstand infectious challenges.

Healthier calves

Milkshake is fortified with extra minerals, trace elements and anti-diarrhoea factors, which boost the health of the calf and improve growth rates. It is often assumed that milk is the perfect food. However, in practice, it’s very deficient in many trace elements such as iron, copper, zinc and selenium. These are all included in Milkshake and they also have an effect on calf growth and well-being. In addition, the prebiotics in Milkshake selectively stimulate the beneficial growth and activity of microbes in the calf’s gut.

Key benefits:

  • Increased calf growth rates of 15pc
  • The reduction of nutritional diarrhoea
  • Higher milk intake
  • Improves digestive enzyme activity
  • Boosting growth rates and immunity

A farmer’s story

Eric Jennings farms with his wife in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Together they farm approximately 58 British Friesian dairy cows and 44 calves, producing an average yield of 5,500 Litres per year, supplying Lisavaird Coop. Eric calves down in spring and has 10pc of his herd left to calf.

The Jennings, who have been farming for 30 years, know what it is like to experience hardship on the farm with issues of nutritional diarrhoea. Based on their past experiences, they understand the importance of calf health to ensure that their calves have the best start in life.

Sam Sweetnam from Inform Nutrition met with Eric recently to discuss his use of Milkshake on farm. Before using Milkshake, Eric had many issues with scouring calves on farm and was using a lot of electrolytes in order to try and combat this issue. Since switching to Milkshake over 15 years ago, Eric has had no issues of nutritional diarrhoea on farm and it has really taken the hardship out of calf rearing.

Eric and his wife both agree that they wouldn’t rear a calf without Milkshake. From using Milkshake for many years Eric states that you can “see the difference and shine in the calves’ coats from day one of feed.”

“The Milkshake range naturally supports the reduction of nutritional diarrhoea in calves,” adds Sam Sweetnam. “As calf rearing is a particularly stressful time of year on farms, it’s important to have a great product that farmers can rely on to assist with calf health.”

Ease of use

One bucket Milkshake will provide enough for 2,280L of milk. It can be offered from the second feed up until weaning. However, fresh water should always be available. For the best results, farmers need to follow a number of simple instructions. For dispersion in cow’s milk, add 15g (one scoop) of Milkshake to 500ml of water and then add this to 4.5L of milk.

For use with milk replacer in bucket systems or cold ad-lib systems, add 15g (one scoop) of Milkshake to 5L of milk replacer.

For automatic calf feeders with an additive dispenser, set dispenser to 3gms per Litre of milk replacer.

For automatic calf feeders without a dispenser just add 0.5kg Milkshake to a 20kg bag of milk replacer and mix well before adding to the feeder

More Information check out the Inform Nutrition website or contact your local Inform Nutrition nutritional advisor:

Howard Pearson (National) at 086-855 0759

Sam Sweetnam (Munster) at 086-0437153

Liam Lacey (Leinster) at 086-7702570

Kevin Conroy (Connacht) at 083-1591892