Jump to content
BC Boards

Unbelievable Cost of Milk Replacer


Caroline Reichard
 Share

Recommended Posts

I work hard to avoid having an orphan pen - w/ only 40 ewes or so, there's not really a need. So I am pretty out-of-touch about the cost of milk replacer. But I had to buy a sack yesterday and it cost me $50!! :rolleyes::D:D:D:D That is nearly doubled in price! What's going on here? At that price, raising orphans is basically ridiculous. Does anyone have a legitimate recipe for making this at home or some other alternative?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use to work on a dairy farm for awhile, and we froze colostrum. Im not sure if it'll work for a lamb, you'd have to check, but I do know that when folks had bummers, ( mostly calf, but Im almost sure there were a few that had other types of livestock that came for it too, just been so long now its hard to remember) they would come by the dairy and get some from us, and buy milk, at a way reduced rate too. We carry the milk replacer at work too, and I was just looking at a bag the other day, and thought the same thing. Not much help here, I know, but at least I can sympathise with ya.

 

Bill, I got a few goats hanging around here, and Im not sure they are worth it to keep around just for the milk, considering all the hassle they are. But your welcome to them! The climbing little brats!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we showed dairy goats we kept a stock of frozen cow colostrum in the freezer. We pasteurized everything we fed the babies, but always used the frozen cow colostrum to start the babies. I'm not sure I would feed a lamb or a goat cow's milk, but it might be worth checking around and buying goat's milk from someone. Hopefully the aren't charging "milk replacer" prices. In a lot of places it's illegal to sell goat's milk off the farm for human consumption and many does produce more than what the kids need, so I am guessing you could find goat's milk at a fairly reasonable price.

 

Emily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cow colostrum is a good second choice for lambs*, but a diet of cow's milk would be lower in fat and solids than a ewe milk. Goat milk is still lower than a ewe's components, and has a larger fat globule, but is a better choice than cow's milk. I'm not sure where lamb milk replacer fits in that overall scheme; every lamb milk replacer that I've used is also labeled for use in goats but the recipe is watered down.

 

*There are some cows that carry an anti-ovine factor, and colostrum or milk from these cows will kill lambs. Not sure how prevalent this is. There's also a danger of transferring Johne's disease from an infected cow into the lamb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colostrum isn't my problem; I always keep some frozen from my own ewes. The problem is that last fall I kept all my sheep together in September in order to have enough sheep to host the practice field and a precocious ram lamb did his thing w/ a 387 year old ewe w/ only one working teat. Now I have to deal w/ the consequences of my bad shepherding: 2 lambs, one big and one little, competing for the single teat. But at $50 a bag, it is going to be an expensive lesson. What I was hoping was that someone could say, " Take a quart of cow's milk, add 2 tbs of rosehip oil, 1 eye of newt, and the skin of a lizard caught at midnight. Mix under the light of a waning moon with a spoon that has been buried in the drop pen for a month - and the cow's milk will turn into milk replacer."

 

Come to think of it, though, I haven't priced rosehip oil or newt eyes recently either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Caroline

I think you have to twirl around 5 times with your eyes closed and click your red tenny heels together at the same time to make that recipe work! :rolleyes:

 

I've had a few bummer lambs in the last 2 lambings because of LGD issues. I've put ads up at the local feed mills and at foo foo pet stores. I've had better luck selling them for 25$ at a few days old than selling my fat lambs off the farm. At first I tried giving them away but got no takers. as soon as I put a price on them I had lots of calls. 25 bucks is half way to the lambmilk replacer! The last batch I bought was for lambs, foals, goats and something else. But the water it called for was different amounts for each. Not my favorite replacer but all I can find down here!

 

I'm having the same price issues with minerals. I think the last bag was something like 22$. I keep tetlling myself it's "special minerals"! I remember back when it was only 7 bucks a bag. My friend in St. Louis says it's still cheap there, maybe it's another excuse to get back to St. Louis again?

 

Good luck with finding newt eyes. There's been a run on them with all the rain we're getting! :D

 

Kristen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have ready access to real (ie raw, right from the cow) milk for cheap, I have a recipe somewhere. I got it from a nun... I never tried it (managed to foster my orphan lamb on a ewe last year), but it works for them. The nun part might help, though... I have two dairy cows, though, and there's way more milk than we can ever use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This year I finally broke down and bought two goats just because of the high cost of milk replacer, and to use for baking and soapmaking. Besides my daughter wants to show goats in 4-H

I purchased two saanan/boer does crossed with a high percentage boer. Both had single buck kids at their side for 100.00 each. The kids are going to be worth at least 70-90.00 when they're older, so that brings my cost down to 10-30.00 per doe. If each doe feeds one lamb, she's paid for herself not counting feed. If she feeds two lambs, then she has paid for her feed too. It doesn't seem like a losing proposition. I figure even if I didn't milk them, they can raise a kid or two every year, just like the sheep.

If I can get my kids to drink the goat milk too, well then we don't have to buy milk at what 3.45 a gallon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year I finally broke down and bought two goats just because of the high cost of milk replacer,

 

 

I think this is a cool idea, but.... would I actually have to milk this goat every day? I had a friend describe her relationship w/ her milk cow as an unhappy marriage. That cow sounded awfully needy to me. Would the goat would be the same way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes you have to milk them every day. A few times I have let them go a day as their babies are 8 weeks old now and will drink alot. I didn't notice a drop in milk production, but then I'm not weighing or trying for anything outstanding. In order to get milk I separate the kids part of the time. When the kids are weaned I will have to milk twice a day no matter what. I don't mind the extra work, and not being able to go anywhere, but some people would. Both goats are very nice, and know the routine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get all the goat grumbling! We have FIVE Nubians, and they're easier than the sheep. They stay behind hotwire, and they're such sissies that they never stray far from their shed. They come tearing back up the pasture at the slightest disturbance. The two does we breed are sweet and give great milk. The wethers are mostly useless, but, well... I'd much rather milk the goats than the cows. This year, it'll be both :rolleyes: I'd better dig out my cheese making supplies...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience with goats is that whenever you don't want them they're in the way, and whenever you do want them they've escaped.

 

I think it depends on the goat just like anything else. I had a nubian/boer before these two I have now. She would constantly holler, get out,and butt the sheep. Cattle panels would not keep her in. The two Saanan/boers are sweethearts, never trying to get out so far. I've even had them in the sheep jugs when I first got them which is hog panels, no problem.

I like them so much I ended up getting two more dairy goats, an Alpine/Nubian and a lamancha/nubian. Both very sweet and easy to work with.

They are different from sheep, generally more curious and outgoing towards people. Not sure that they are probably smarter too. The boers have a good growth rate, and there's a market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...