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Calves Thrive on Prime Elite Calf Milk Replacer

Calves Thrive on Prime Elite Calf Milk Replacer

Dairygold Milk Supplier Conor McSweeney with Roisin O’Donnell Dairygold Agri Business Calf Milk Replacer Specialist and David Whyte, Volac Business Manager.


Dairy farmer Conor McSweeney milks 140 high EBI Friesian cows on a 44-hectare milking platform. Conor has been using Dairygold’s Prime Elite calf milk replacer for the last 5 years. He rears all his calves on calf milk replacer, both bulls and heifers and is extremely happy with the results.

With the help of his sons, Donal aged 16 and Peter aged 13, every new-born calf receives 4L of colostrum within the first 2-3 hours of birth followed by 7 days of transition milk. All calves are then trained onto the automatic feeder. Conor recently invested in a purpose-built calf shed and has completed one season in the new facility which has four pens, each with their own feeding station. Conor said, ‘since building the new shed our calves benefit from improved feeding facilities, more space, better ventilation and are overall healthier calves.’

Calves receive 6L of Prime Elite calf milk replacer at 15% concentration for a total of 9 weeks on the feeder. In total Conor feeds milk for 10 weeks as calves are weaned automatically off the feeder. ‘Feeding calf milk replacer compared to whole milk means my calves are heavier at weaning. They are eating a minimum of 1.5kg of meal and the weaning process is hassle free/more seamless. Overall, I am very happy with Dairygold’s Prime Elite calf milk replacer as my calves are thriving and it gives me great flexibility and is very convenient to use,’ said Conor.


 Finian Deasy (left) Dairygold Area Sales Manager and Roisin O’Donnell (right) Dairygold Agri Business Calf Milk Replacer Specialist, with Peter and Rachel Cooper.

Consistency of Calf Milk Replacer is Key to Success for Father-Daughter Duo

Peter Cooper operates a pedigree Holstein Friesian herd on a 72-acre grazing platform and is the 3rd generation of the Cooper family to run this 110-cow farm.

Peter farms with the help of his daughter Rachel who is currently in her third year at University College Cork (UCC) where she studies Agricultural Science with the help of the Dairygold bursary. The pair run a 12-week breeding programme which consists of 6 weeks of AI using Friesian straws and then 6 weeks of breeding using an Angus stock bull.

On the Cooper farm all calves are reared on Dairygold’s Prime Elite calf milk replacer with 2022 being their fourth year using the product.


Feeding Regime

All calves receive 3-4 litres of colostrum followed by transition milk for 4 days as they are vaccinated against Rotavirus and the Coopers want their calves to benefit from the antibodies in the transition milk. At 5 days old they start calves on Prime Elite calf milk replacer at 12.5% concentration and they get 6L. On day 14 the concentration goes up to 14% (stays at 14% until weaning) and they are offered 6-8L per day.

For the past number of years Rachel is responsible for calf rearing on the farm. She said, ‘we have 10 pens and 10 calves in each, and we wean calves when they are between 95kg – 100kg. All our calves have access to ad lib ration and straw, with a constant supply of clean water. Having everything under the one roof makes feeding a very simple process, saving time and labour.’

Calves are fed using teat feeders from the start. Rachel mixes the Prime Elite calf milk replacer in a milk kart with hot water, and it is pumped into the teat feeders.

Peter said, ‘consistency in the calf milk replacer is a key benefit, we can feed the milk replacer when we want before milking. We don’t have to draw buckets from the parlour as we have hot water in the calf shed. The calves are extremely healthy, with no upset stomachs all year – the Prime Elite calf milk replacer is consistent with every single feed. We found the calves consumed a lot more ration and as a result they reached target weights earlier than normal’.


Digestarom Unique to Dairygold

Digestarom is a blend of plant-based essential oils, which help to increase the palatability of Dairygold’s Prime Elite calf milk replacer and enhance the calf’s ability to digest the nutrients.  It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, leading to a reduction in the incidence of scour. The increased ability to digest nutrients leads to more efficient and increased intake of calf milk replacer and starter ration, leading to an increase in weight gain and heavier calves at weaning.



Imunopro® – A key Ingredient

Imunopro®, a highly concentrated and nutritious bioactive milk complex is a key ingredient in Prime Elite 25 Plus and Prime Elite 23 calf milk replacers.

Imunopro® is a unique blend of super-concentrated functional milk proteins. These proteins contain high levels of the essential amino acids needed for calf growth and development, such as lysine and leucine (the same amino acids found in supplements used by professional athletes to repair and build muscle). This concentrated milk protein also primes the immune system, assists in pathogen control and lays the groundwork for healthy calf development.

Imunopro® also contains high levels of concentrated milk oils – five times more than you will find in standard whey or skim powders. Its sugars are concentrated to encourage the development of a healthy population of bacteria in the young calf’s gut – helping to boost the immune system and ward off disease. Lactoferrins – shown to reduce the frequency and severity of scours – are also present in Imunopro® at elevated levels.


Expert Advice from Dairygold

Dairygold Calf Milk Replacer Specialist Róisín O’Donnell has undertaken extensive training with calf milk replacer suppliers and manufacturers. Roisín can advise on milk replacer formulations, feeding systems and optimum feeding rates to help ensure that your feeding regime delivers maximum calf health and performance.  You can contact Roisin on 086 793 8408 or email:

Information is also available from your local Dairygold Area Sales Manager or from Dairygold’s Inside Sales Team at 022 31644.

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