Modern calves need modern milk.
Modern milk needs Calf Solutions®

When it comes to whole milk feeding, it can be hard to distinguish facts from fiction. But one fact that holds true for all calf raisers is that calves are expected to perform. To meet modern performance goals, calves need more from their whole milk. Calf Solutions® whole milk supplements can help by delivering balanced nutrition at every feeding.


Whole Milk Truth Video
Does your whole milk measure up?

Whole Milk Advantage

Whole Milk AddVantage®

  • Fortifies to provides a consistent supply of vitamins & minerals
  • Supports intestinal health & immune function
  • Medicated with Bovatec® and seasonally with Clarifly®


  • Balances the protein and fat ratio
  • Helps ensure lean gain & growth
  • Medicated with Bovatec® and seasonally with Clarifly®
Whole Milk Extender

Whole Milk Extender

  • A non-medicated formula designed to extend whole milk or feed as a complete milk replacer
  • Provides consistency from feeding to feeding
  • Supports intestinal health & immune function

Whole milk truth or whole milk myth - reveal the truth

    • BustedWhole milk is considered by many to be a good source of nutrition for preweaned calves. But there actually are three major challenges with whole milk that prove whole milk is not perfect.

      1) Supply – With normal levels of fresh and treated cows, waste/hospital milk should provide 30 to 60 percent of the total daily volume needed to feed all of their preweaned heifer calves. This figure depends on many variables, including disease incidence; feeding levels; weaning age; and whether or not a dairy is using sexed semen to produce more heifers.

      Waste milk supplies can be stretched by using an extender product, which is similar to milk replacer. It is mixed with water and added to waste milk supplies. Extender levels can be adjusted daily according to the amount of available waste milk, and the number of calves that need to be fed.

      2) Varying components – Standard, whole milk has about 12.5 percent total solids. But waste milk, by its very nature, can have highly variable levels of fat, protein and solids. A balancer can be used to normalize solids levels in waste milk. Balancers are high in protein, and also can be used to increase the total protein level in a liquid ration to help promote stature and lean tissue growth.

      3) Nutritional deficiency – Whole milk has some deficiencies for ideal calf nutrition. According to National Research Council (NRC 2001) recommendations for dairy calves, whole milk is lacking in adequate levels of manganese, copper, iron, cobalt, iodine and vitamin E. Selenium levels in whole milk also are highly variable and may be lacking as well. These deficiencies are based on the nutrient value of salable, whole milk. If waste milk is being fed, even more attention is needed to ensure a steady, consistent supply of nutrients.

      To make an ideal nutrition package for calves, vitamins and trace minerals should be supplemented, with a fortifier, just as whole milk is fortified with vitamin D for humans.

    • TrueProper pasteurization and post-pasteurization storage results in a safer feed product with significantly lower bacteria levels. Among the organisms that can be greatly reduced or eliminated by pasteurization are Salmonella, Mycoplasma, E. coli, Staph. aureus, Listeria and Mycoplasma paratuberculosis (the organism that causes Johne's disease).

      Pasteurization will not change the physical composition, total solids levels, or vitamin/trace mineral content of whole milk and does not remove antibiotic residues from waste milk.

    • BustedDry matter also sometimes is referred to as "total solids." More water and fewer total solids creates a solution with lower nutrient density. Typical dry matter of saleable milk is roughly 12.5 percent. In some herds, the dry matter can be as high as 14-14.5 percent.

      Waste milk can have dry matter levels that range from 5 to 14 percent, depending on the amount of dilution from added water or from milk that is non-saleable. Treated cows may produce milk that has lower-than-normal solids, while transition milk from fresh cows may have high solids levels. The handling of waste milk also can contribute to its inconsistency. Water from wash and flush cycles may be added to waste milk, diluting total solids.

      Because of this variability, calf raisers must monitor waste milk daily and adjust the total solids their calves receive using a balancer product to improve consistency from feeding to feeding. Calves respond to total solids consistency with better growth and health due to lower stress, more robust immune function, and better overall dry matter intake.

    • BustedThe primary goals of dairy heifer development are for the calf to:
      (1) grow at an optimal rate
      (2) develop a functional rumen
      (3) build a strong immune system
      (4) maintain performance through weaning

      Calves should have a whole milk diet that is high in protein and fat, however, with modern dairy-calf-feeding programs, the target weaning age often is around 60 days or less. High fat levels in the liquid ration from excess milk can result in a resistance to consume the optimal amount of dry feed that is needed for early weaning and proper rumen development.

      Managing total solids and fat consumed helps contribute to improved dry feed (calf starter) consumption and faster rumen development than would be achieved by simply feeding more milk.

    • BustedWhen milk prices are low, feeding saleable milk is tempting; however, a dairy is in business to sell milk. When you take that income stream away, you are disrupting the business' cash flow. With a quality whole milk extender, calf raisers can extend the waste-milk supply and therefore reduce the amount of saleable milk that would need to be used to feed calves. Other benefits to feeding a whole milk extender include:

      (1) Create a consistent liquid ration
      (2) Consistent calf feeding routines and protocols
      (3) Reduced time and labor for pasteurization, which would still be required of salable milk
      (4) Calves receive added vitamins and trace minerals to help fortify waste milk

Bovatec® is a registered trademark of Zoetis Services LLC. ClariFly® is a registered trademark of Wellmark International.