Friday, August 2, 2013

Consistent Milk Temperature

I suggested at a recent meeting of calf care persons that calves can benefit from consistent care. One element of this consistent care is feeding milk at the same temperature every feeding - preferred temperature being approximately 102 degrees.

A very practical fellow in the group raised his hand. He said, "Did you do this when you were feeding calves?' This was reality checking.

I replied, "Yes I did. Not every day and very seldom during the summer. More often during cold weather."

He then asked, "How did you do that?"

I replied, "I poked the stem of an inexpensive rapid-read thermometer through a 2 inch square of styrofoam packing and let it float in the milk replacer." [You should know that I transported the mixed milk replacer in 30-gallon waste barrels and the calves were housed in hutches.]

In order to make it really easy to read the temperature without my glasses I used a tag pen to make a mark on the dial of the thermometer at 102 degrees. That way all I had to do is see if the little red pointer was at or above the black line.

My experience during cold weather was challenging. I had to be really creative to deliver consistently warm milk on days when the wind chill fell well below freezing.

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