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.
Whey Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
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.