Two changes in federal U.S. regulations will affect milk replacers, beginning April 2010 for the most popular antibiotic option for calf milk replacers in the U.S., Neo-Terra. First, the old ratio of 2 parts neomycin (NT) sulfate to 1 part oxytetracycline will be 1 to 1 in the future. This change increases the cost of milk replacers, because Terramycin is more expensive than neomycin. Second, the higher concentrations of NT can be fed only for up to 14 days, which means that feeding medicated milk replacer from birth to weaning will no longer be permitted.
On one hand, this means that feeding low levels of NT to improve feed efficiency will not be cost-effective anymore. On the other hand, the new higher rate should be effective for treatment but will probably be cost-prohibitive to feed to all calves on a regular basis, and companies relying on medicated milk replacer will have to consider alternative options such as essential oils or prebiotics.
An example of such a new alternative ingredient is Calf Mos Plus, a water-suspendable, prebiotic two-way combination of quality glucomannans and essential oils distributed by The Old Mill–Troy, a specialty ingredient supplier in North Troy, Vt. Calf Mos Plus shows benefits on gut health, immunity and performance and is used in milk replacers or whole milk fed to calves.
Calf Mos Plus contains XTract Instant, a soluble version of XTract 6930, the popular microencapsulated plant extract (containing essential oils from capsicum, oregano and cinnamon) for monogastric animals from Pancosma S.A., the Swiss speciality feed additives manufacturer. Since it is totally soluble, XTract Instant is particularly suitable for use in milk replacers, liquid feed and drinking water systems for calves, pigs and poultry. It has already been proven in automatic calf milk replacer systems. XTract Instant is a standardized product characterized by a number of actions such as stimulation of appetite, secretion of endogenous enzymes, immuno-stimulation and anti-oxidant properties.
Feeding nonmedicated milk replacer with Calf Mos Plus including XTract Instant and treating calves only as needed will allow more flexibility and should save money, as well as protect calves from environmental stress and vulnerability to pathogens.
Calf Mos Plus is available through The Old Mill–Troy, Inc., North Troy, Vt., (800) 945-4474. For further information about XTract Instant, contact email@example.com.