Dairy farmer LeAnne Blakelok says she’s finally found a calf milk replacer (CMR) that has made calf rearing easy, the way it used to be.
Based near Inglewood in the Taranaki, LeAnne and her partner Ian Powell milk 385 dairy cows and rear approximately 300 calves; 100 are replacements and the rest are for the beef market.
LeAnne notes that for years she has struggled with transitioning calves from milk to CMR. “Palatability has been the biggest issue. We struggled to get them to drink CMR and saw them go backwards for the first 10 days or so.”
For the last few years, LeAnne fed her calves with a premium whey-based CMR. The main reason for this was the ability to transition the calves to CMR from Day 4. She also found that the whole milk CMRs were harder to mix.
Not happy with the calves’ progress, LeAnne started researching other whey CMRs and came across Sprayfo.
“I know Sprayfo has a great reputation in the lamb market” she says, “so I called Jaco (AgriVantage’s North Island Business Manager).
“We discussed Sprayfo milk replacers, both the whey and the whole milk options. However, knowing we were looking to rear the tail end calves (all beefies), he recommended we try Sprayfo Delta to support faster growth rates. What’s more, he delivered it on farm the very next day!”
Sprayfo Delta is a new high fat CMR from Agrivantage. Based on the composition of whole milk, Sprayfo Delta has a similar osmolality to cow’s milk (reducing the risk of scours) and is >95% digestible. The higher nutrient density and high fat (energy) results in faster growth rates, making it ideal for beef rearing.
“We were aiming to put weight on the calves quickly and that’s exactly what happened” LeAnne continues. “The calves transitioned so easily with no palatability issues.
“The product was super easy to mix and stayed in suspension, which was another big plus for us.”
“I like the transparency too – you know exactly how Sprayfo is made and what’s in it. And it’s backed by science.”
LeAnne notes they only feed a premium CMR. “We stick to the premium products because they are consistently manufactured, nutritionally balanced and generally more palatable.
“I don’t have any statistical evidence to share but the Sprayfo calves looked better from the start. We had no health issues with that mob, where previously we had lots of stress-related health problems.
“The Sprayfo calves were also really keen on their meal. I believe the osmolality of a CMR is key here – it’s why they transitioned so well from whole milk to CMR and showed good meal intakes.
“We reared healthy, vigorous calves on Sprayfo Delta. It made calf-rearing easy, the way it used to be.”
The Sprayfo calves weighed in at 130kgs at 9 weeks.
“My youngest calves were not the smallest calves” she adds. “They slotted into the middle of the mob. And those calves not doing especially well (on the other CMR product) picked up immediately on Sprayfo Delta.”
So happy with the performance of Sprayfo Delta and the level of support from AgriVantage, LeAnne has already contracted 5 tonnes for next season.
“AgriVantage provides fantastic support. Jaco’s nutrition knowledge is incredible and his follow-up was excellent. I like the transparency too – you know exactly how Sprayfo is made and what’s in it. And it’s backed by science.”
Sprayfo Delta Energised Calf Milk
Our premium curding calf milk replacer for optimised growth.