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Management and Economics of On Farm Pasteurization


The goal of a calf rearing program should be to optimize growth and health while minimizing risk and cost. Economics of a calf rearing program should be measured in terms of cost per lb. of gain and total cost to rear calves to a given weight/age, including mortality charges. As the price of milk replacer ingredients has increased calf growers have looked towards utilization of unsaleable milk from fresh cows and those treated with antibiotics as a source of economical nutrients. However, the practice of feeding raw milk to calves is not recommended due to the potential for disease transmission. Fortunately, pasteurizers have become commercially available that are well suited to treating the volumes of waste milk found on dairy farms and many calf raising operations.

The purpose of this presentation is to review the information about calf feeding systems using waste milk including potential benefits and risks. Recommended protocols for managing uncertainty associated with these feeding systems will be discussed.


Robert E. James
Va. Tech Dept. of Dairy Science

M. C. Scott
Area Dairy Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.