The recent jump in milk-replacer cost has shined the spotlight on product usage and alternative feeding options. But be careful of knee-jerk reactions to this situation, cautions Bob James, professor of dairy nutrition at Virginia Tech. First, remember that the calves’ nutrient requirements have not changed, he says. These are young animals that require large quantities of high-quality energy and protein for optimal growth.

“Deficiencies cause increased illness, mortality and poor growth,” James adds. “As calf feed cost has increased so has the value of calves.” For more hints on how to manage milk replacer cost and use, follow this link.