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On farm pasteurizer management for waste milk quality control


Utilization of waste milk as a source of nutrition for the growing calf. Waste milk is comprised of transition milk from cows during the first three days after calving and that collected from cows treated with antibiotics or removed from the milking string due to other illness. Surveys from Wisconsin and results from field studies conducted in North Carolina and California show it contains in excess of 29% fat and 27% protein. This compares very favorably to the nutrient content of 20% fat: 20% protein of most traditional milk replacers. It’s also a reason why calves usually gain more weight when fed milk as compared to traditional milk replacers. However, it must be remembered that waste milk also represents a significant biosecurity risk to the calf. A Virginia Tech study found that waste milk on 3 North Carolina farms averaged 5,000,000 cfu/ml aerobic plate count (APC) and over 1,600,000 in 10 California farms. A study of 31 operations in Wisconsin (Jorgensen, et al, 2005) found an average of 8,822,000 cfu/ml and a range of 6,000 to 72,000,000 cfu/ml. Bulk tank samples collected over a 6 year period in California (Kirk, et al, 1997) from 267 herd yielding 3210 samples found Mycoplasma bovis in 55% of samples. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis has also been isolated from waste milk. Major concerns for the treatment of waste milk, sanitation of equipment and the management of calf feeding systems utilizing waste milk will be discussed in this paper.


Robert E. James and M. Chase Scott
Dept. of Dairy Science
Virginia Tech