Calf rearing with British made milk replacers


Every farmer understands that a strong, healthy calf is the foundation of a successful livestock operation. The journey to rearing such a calf begins with proper nutrition during their earliest days of life. This is where our British-made milk replacers, such as Calfpride from Volac can make a world of difference.

Milk replacers aren’t simply a convenience – they are a vital nutritional lifeline for new-born calves. These nutrition-packed formulas are a cocktail of the essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals your calves need to kick-start their life.

Remember, the early stages of a calf’s life are critical. It’s the time when their growth and development are most influenced by the nutrients, they take in. A lack of adequate nutrition during this phase can have long-lasting effects. Milk replacers, when used correctly, can help ensure your calves get the robust start they need, setting the stage for a strong, healthy, and productive milking cow.

As a farmer, you know that the health and wellbeing of your livestock are intrinsically tied to the success of your operation. So, making sure you’re providing the best possible nutrition during those all-important early days is paramount. This is where Harpers range of milk replacers can be a real game-changer. It’s not just about filling tiny bellies – it’s about providing a dietary foundation that will help your calves thrive. And it all begins with understanding the importance of milk replacers.

 Finding the right milk powder

Looking for the perfect milk replacer for your calves? It might seem like a daunting task, but fear not. The ideal milk replacer should mimic natural cow’s milk as closely as possible, providing a well-rounded nutritional package to nourish your calves.

First up, examine the protein content. This should be of high quality and contribute to around 20-25% of the overall formula. Your young calves need this to build strength and grow healthy. On the flip side, the replacer should contain minimal filler, ensuring every sip your calf takes is packed full of nutrients and not empty calories.

Next up, fat. Just like us humans, calves need a certain amount of good fats in their diet. Look for a fat content of around 15-20% to provide the energy they need to explore their surroundings and build up their body condition.

Lastly, remember that calves’ digestive systems are sensitive, so the replacer needs to be easy to digest. In terms of fibre content, aim for a replacer with less than 0.15%. Too much fibre can upset their delicate systems, leading to discomfort and potentially hindering their growth.

All in all, selecting the right milk replacer is about finding the perfect nutritional balance that suits your calves’ specific needs. It’s not always easy, but the rewards – watching your calves flourish and become healthy ruminants – make it all worthwhile. So, take your time, do your research, and remember, when it comes to the well-being of your livestock, you’re always making the best decision.

 Feeding routine

Getting your feeding schedule right is just as crucial as choosing the right milk replacer. It’s a vital cog in the machinery of calf rearing that can really set the pace for their growth and development. Let’s get down to the specifics: calves have small stomachs. That means their meals need to be proportioned and timed just right. In the first fortnight, serve up 3-4 litres of milk replacer, split into two daily feeds. This routine will provide the nourishment they need without overwhelming their systems.

As their capacity grows, so too should their portion sizes. After two weeks, feel free to up their intake, again split between two feeds. Remember, though, that this is a gradual process – slow and steady is the name of the game here. Just like people, different calves may take to new routines at different paces, so be ready to adjust your approach as needed.

And always keep in mind, proper nutrition is not just about the amount they consume, but also the quality of what they are consuming. Stick with a reliable, nutrient-packed British-made milk replacer and you’ll be on the right track.

 Quality creep feeds

While milk replacers are a fantastic foundation for young calves, there comes a time when they must start to navigate creep feeds. This pivotal step in their development should be approached gradually and with care. Around the third week of life, you can begin to introduce a premium calf starter feed into their diet, whilst still maintaining the milk replacer as a central component of their meals. Our Calf Starter Pellets will fit the bill!

This shift in diet can be a delicate process, as you strive to maintain a balance that ensures your calves are getting all the nutrients they need. It’s all about easing them into this new phase of eating. Start off by gently increasing the solid feed portions, while slowly reducing the quantity of milk replacer.

This careful transition isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. It will take time and observation to identify how each calf is adjusting to the new dietary regime. Some may take to it quickly, while others may need a bit more time to adjust.

This phase is all about helping your calves to develop their ability to digest and extract nutrients from solid feed, an essential skill for their future growth and productivity. As always, patience, attention to detail and a quality, nutrient-rich diet are the key ingredients to successfully navigating this transition.


When it comes to top-tier nutrition for your calves, you simply can’t overlook the value packed into a quality milk replacer. Each and every batch is created under rigorous quality control procedures, guaranteeing that the product you pour into your calf’s feeding bucket is second to none and a consistent feed.

In essence, opting for British-made milk replacers is a decision that reaps dividends. You are choosing a product that stands tall on the twin pillars of nutritional superiority and cost-effectiveness, a combination that is hard to beat in today’s competitive farming landscape. So, if you’re looking to give your calves the best possible start in life, you can’t go wrong with a premium, British-made milk replacer.

 Calf growth

The broader health of your calves is integral to their growth journey. Frequent visits from your vet, providing suitable living conditions, and timely preventive action against diseases all play an essential role in successfully rearing calves. Healthy calves are happy calves and happy calves are more likely to grow into strong, productive milk cows.

From the moment they’re born, it’s important to create an environment that supports their wellbeing. Comfortable, dry, and well-ventilated housing, for instance, can help prevent respiratory issues. Regular vaccinations can guard against common diseases, whilst a robust parasite control programme will keep harmful bugs at bay. Keep a close eye on your calves and promptly address any signs of illness. Early intervention can often mean the difference between a minor issue and a major problem.

Of course, these elements don’t exist in isolation. You can’t have healthy calves without proper nutrition, just as you can’t have good nutrition without a healthy environment. It’s a delicate balancing act that requires your full commitment.

It’s a cyclical process – healthy calves grow into strong cows, leading to a thriving herd and a prosperous farm. So, let’s give them the best start possible – for more information on successfully rearing your calves, contact your Feed Specialist today.

Calfpride Offer

Throughout February and March 2024, buy a full pallet of our Calfpride range of milk powders and get 2 bags FREE OF CHARGE.