Montage 2023 Option 2

Calf Milk Replacer, what should you feed this Spring?

By Mark Flannery & Willie Boland

The first six months of a calf’s life is crucial, it is 8% of its total life but during that time the calf reaches 25% of its total adult weight.

Sexual maturity in female calves is directly linked to the weight of the animal more than age.

These two points are critical when we are talking about rearing calves. If calves don’t reach their target weights at weaning studies show that in the first lactation they will be back by up to 156 litres in production.

In order to be ready for breeding at 15 months of age, your weanling must be 60% of her mature body weight. This weight will vary depending on breed, but assuming birth weight of 50kg and weight at breeding of 350kg, your weanling will need to achieve approx. 700-750 grams weight from the day she is born, hence the importance of choosing the correct milk replacer from the start.

When shopping around for quality you must ensure that a milk replacer should contain at least 65% dairy proteins, alternative to dairy proteins are vegetable proteins but these are not as easily digested by the young calf. Ultimately the amount of milk proteins in milk replacer will determine the quality of the powder.


Liffey Mills ELVOR PERFORMANCE contains a balanced amount of skim and whey proteins. Skim based proteins are produced by dehydrating milk after the removal of the majority of its milk fat content.

Whey based protein is a more common protein supplement produced by dehydrating whey, which is a liquid by-product of cheese production.

Balancing skim and whey content and ratios is very important, as a milk replacer with too much skim will result in calves remaining fuller for longer and as a result their appetites for concentrates and fibres will be suppressed, taking the calf’s rumen longer to develop.

Liffey Mills ELVOR PERFORMANCE also boasts of an overall protein content of 25%. It has high fat content of 18.5% which will drive the energy of the product. It has a very respectable ash content of 8.4% derived from high levels of vitamins and mineral inclusions, putting our feed label out there amongst the best on the market.

Over the course of the last six years Liffey Mills have also developed a feeding regime for transitioning calves from whole milk to powder milk, this regime is applicable to both dairy and beef calf herds. Liffey Mills product ELVOR ADAPTO can be fed for 7-14 days during the transition period, a stressful time for the calf.


ADAPTO is a complete milk replacer, deliberately lower in protein and contains:


• Mineral salts to restore electrolyte balance, stimulate water absorption in the gut and reduce the risk of acidosis.

• Clay (Smectite) acts as a gastrointestinal bandage and captures bacterial toxins

• Carob Flour improves palatability and provides astringent effect.

• Fructooligosaccharids facilitates the development of the beneficial intestinal flora

(Bifadobacteria:lactobacillus) stimulates the local immune system and increases the height of the intestinal villi.

• Essential oils have a natural antimicrobial effect against pathogens.

If in doubt about purchased calves or you don’t have access to a full history then ADAPTO is your insurance policy for this stressful period.

Elvor Digest

Our Elvor product range also extends to Electrolytes called “Elvor Digest”. Digest should be used where calves are suffering from diarrhoea or other digestive disturbances. Digest contains vast amounts of energies which are supplied by its sugar content; it boasts of mineral salts, Kaolin and Betaine, these are all aids that contribute to maintenance and protection of the intestine and liver function in difficult times.

Farmers also use Digest after purchasing calves as a preventative. Moving calves long distances and onto a new feed types and living environments in one go can be a very stressful time for calves, and so in order to help destress the calves it’s an ideal option to replace two consecutive feeds of milk with Digest, this allows for the calf to settle into its new environment whilst being supplied with fast and available energy during this 24 hour period.

Liffey Mills brought ELVOR to the Irish market in early 2017 and with sole exclusivity on the product range we have in six short seasons reared over 150,000 calves, with this number anticipated to increase to over 200,000 for the coming season.

Our very competitively priced 25kg bags put us ahead of much of the competition (big bag at small bag price) and our continued growth and expanding market share is a testament to the ELVOR product range.

For more information on our full Elvor product range and pricing contact your local branch, technical sales advisor or log onto and for testimonials on our Elvor Performance click into our Liffey Mills Youtube page

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