Friday, November 29, 2013

Be Sure to Feed What You Intend to Feed
We have to be careful when we do our calculations. One of the most common errors in mixing milk replacer is the confusion over how much powder is mixed with water. This is often an issue when setting an automatic feeder. 

Let me quote from a paper, "Group Housing and  Feeding Systems of Calves - Opportunities and Challenges," by Bob James and Kayla Machado, VPISU in Reno on March 7, 2013.
"When milk replacer is used, powder is diluted with water to approximately 13o15% solids. Caution is advised when specifying dilution as most autofeeding systems express the grams of milk replacer to add to each liter of water. 
Therefore, 150g added to a liter of water is not 15% solids but 13% (1,000ml water + 150g of powder = 1150 final weight. Therefor, 150g of powder divided by 1150g of total weight = 13% solids."
Ooooops! We thought we were feeding 15% solids and actually only feeding 13%!
Many thanks to Bob and Kayla for bringing this to our attention. 

If you have access to SPAC (Searchable Proceedings of Animal Conferences) this paper is in the 2013 section of the Western Dairy Conference proceedings.

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