About Browns Feeds

Brown's Feeds is a family run business going back two generations. It all started when the Brown family was feeding over 400 calves per day and decided to formulate and produce a milk replacer that best suited our needs.  It included innovations like the addition of coconut oil and only using 100% milk proteins. Once the word got out, neighbors and locals wanted to buy our milk replacer and it grew to what it is today! 

Over 30 years of working with animals has lead to the creation of the highest quality milk replacers on the market.

Milk Replacer Ingredients

Milk replacers are manufactured primarily  from the bi-products of the Dairy industry. The milk replacer formulations may vary in quality and palatability depending on the manufacturer. The quality of milk replacers is directly related to the products used to provide the protein and fat composition. The best protein sources available to baby animals are obtained from 100% milk protein.

Protein Sources:

Milk Protein

  • Skim Milk

  • Butter Milk

  • Dried Whey

  • Whey Protein Concentrate

  • Casein

  • Delactosed Whey

Non-Milk Proteins

  • Soy Flour

  • Soy Protein Concentrate

  • Soy Protein Isolate

  • Dried Eggs

  • Fish Protein

  • Flour Products

The best sources of fat are also milk based in the form of butterfat. However, the cost of using butterfat alone places milk replacers in the same cost range as whole milk. Other fat sources have been identified as being highly digestible and suitable replacements to butterfat. The important factor to consider in using alternate fat sources is the digestibility of these products. Milk replacers that use a blend of fat ingredients including butterfat, lard (porcine origin), tallow and highly digestible vegetable fats such as coconut or palm oils are known as blended fats. These blended fats can be 90-95% digestible. Fat sources such as choice lard or non-blended fats are more economical, but are less digestible. Reduced digestibility can be a factor that predisposes an animal to scours.

High quality milk replacers are less likely to cause diarrhea. Animals fed high quality milk replacers are more vigorous and better able to resist disease.

Milk Replacer & BSE

Milk replacers that use 100% Milk Proteins don't have any "Ruminant Protein Sources" in them. Producers can be confident that feeding milk replacers will not spread BSE. The use of animal fats such as pork based lard compounds are appproved feed ingredients, which are highly refined and are not associated with BSE infection.

Milk Replacer Storage & Handling

  1. Store in a cool, dry and clean location. Unused powders can be refigerated or frozen to help preserve shelf life.

  2. Store away from any chemicals or odors. Milk replacers will pick up these odors from the environment, reducing palatability.

  3. Opened bags should be used as soon as possible. When stored, they should be placed in a tightly closed container to prevent other animals or insects getting into the powder.

  4. Use the oldest product first to promote freshness.

  5. Any remaining mixed milk should be stored using refrigeration. It can then be warmed for feeding later. Reconstituted milk should not be kept for more than 24 hours before feeding.

Mixing of Milk Replacer

Cow's milk is generally considered to average 122.5 percent solids. These solids provide the nutritional component of the milk. Milk replacer should be mixed according to the label instructions to maintain the appropriate solids to water ratio. Changing this ratio can lead to scours in the animal.When  changing the amount fed, adjust the total milk fed, adjust the total milk fed rather than the amount of milk powder added.  It is important to mix only enough solution for one feeding whenever possible.

Milk powders should be mixed in hot water (38-39 Degrees Celcius and never boiling) to promote bonding of fat to the protein molecule. This will aid in the digestibility of the milk replacer. Mixing in warm or cold water is possible, but it doesn't provide the most digestible final solution. The powder should mix readily with the simple use of a hand whisk. Mechanical mixing is not recommended.

Feeding of Milk Replacers

It is best to feed all milk, whether whole milk or milk replacers, at as close to the animal's body temperature as possible, (generally around 103 Degrees Fahrenheit or 39.5 Degrees Celcius). A common mistake is allowing the milk replacer to cool too much before feeding. This causes additional energy needs for the baby animal and may lead to scours. Feeding milk replacers in small amounts more frequently will provide better results than feeding two large meals per day. Multiple feedings through the day allow more feed to be consumed in a shorter time period. It should be noted that the first few weeks of an animal's life have the greatest overall affect on the profitability of that animal. An animal with a poor start will likely not produce the kind of weight gains or feed conversions necessary to be achieve maximum profitability.

Ensure that all milk feeding equipment is properly cleaned after each use and don't leave left-over milk in the vicinity of the babies. It has a tendency to sour and attract flies and other insects that may carry harmful bacteria for the baby animal. The result of this type of management may promote disease, or sickness.

General Weaning Guidelines

All animals should be healthy and well started on solid foodstuffs prior to weaning. Solid  foodstuffs will need to provide all of the nutrition required for growth and maintenance of the animal. Weaning too soon can cause a reduced growth rate over the animals entire lifetime.

Weaning in most agricultural animals can occur as early as one month, however better results have been associated with weaning programs that begin around six weeks. (Foals require more time on milk and should not be weaned until atleast three months of age)

Feeding volumes should increase steadily for about three to four weeks as per label directions, and then be maintained until the weaning process begins. Volumes can then be reduced to a maintenance level to encourage the intake of dry feeds. The number of feedings can also be reduced as well to help promote intake of other feed as well. Generally two feedings per day should be the minimum until final weaning occurs.

In most cases weaning works best over a one to two week period to help reduce stress on the animal.

Common Errors in Feeding Baby Animals

  • Lack of colostrum in the first 48 hours of life

  • Failing to provide a warm, draft-free environment

  • Failing to provide clean, dry bedding

  • Overfeeding in smaller or sick animals

  • Underfeeding in larger or fast growing animals

  • Failure to recognize and treat sick animals

  • Failing to feed often enough or at regular times

  • Allowing the animal to drink water immediately after feeding milk replacer; This actually reduces digestion by not allowing clotting in the stomach to occur. Wait one hour after feeding before allowing water.

  • Overcrowding and stressful environments

  • Failure to properly sanitize feeding equipment

  • Failing to follow mixing and feeding instructions for each species (found on the tag)

  • Feeding product that is not 100% Milk Protein

  • Feeding interior fat products

Mixing Instructions

For maximum usability, milk replacers should be mixed in hot water. (170 degrees Fahrenheit/77 degrees Celsius)

 

An easy way to mix milk for one calf is:

  1. Place 1 litre of 170 degree water in a container

  2. Add 2 cups powder and mix until dissolved

  3. Add additional water to achieve feeding temperature of 105 degrees Farrenheit and a total of 2 litres

  4. Do Not over dilute.  

Production Goals

The most critical period in an animal's life begins at birth and continues through the early days of development. Providing high quality nutrients during this period is essential, whether it is from the mother or an alternate source.

The use of Milk Replacers in today's agricultural industry serves a number of purposes:

  1. To provide essential nutrients to orphaned animals;

  2. To act as a supplement of maternal milk in situations where the mother is unable to produce enough milk (e.g. multiple births or first time mothers); and

  3. To replace whole milk where the economies of selling whole milk are greater than purchasing milk replacer.

The desired result is to grow a healthy animal that is well adjusted and able to be weaned at the most cost-effective time. The best way to achieve this goal is to feed high quality milk replacers to your baby animals.

RR # 1

Clive, AB

T0C 0Y0

P: 403.784.3732

F: 403.784.2073

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