ACIDIFYING MILK WITH PKA
Raw milk (unpasteurised or not acidified) is a major risk of transmission of disease within a farm. Controlling this risk, whilst maintaining the ability to feed milk on farm is vital.
Pasteurisation is one way to kill pathogen transmission. But without the infrastructure to undertake this, farmers are only left with acidification as an option.
- Acidifying milk is a practical insurance step to stop the spread of disease to the next generation.
- Acidifying milk is relatively easy and effective when done correctly.
- It allows the farmer to use on farm milk, without buying calf milk replacer.
Best Practice on Farm in NZ
There are two milk areas of practice in NZ:
- Beef calf or replacement heifer calf rearers who buy in raw waste milk or colostrum. This is the most risky practice, as it is likely to come from numerous farms, is likely to be mastitis milk and is untraceable.
- On farm feeding of raw colostrum/milk/mastitis milk/waste milk
With any pressure on supply of calf milk replacer (CMR), the ability to feed raw milk on farm or bought is vital this season.
Whilst Dairy NZ has suggested the use of citric acid to reduce the pH to the required 4.5-5, for a least 8 hours. The high dose of citric acid suggests the milk will be sour and potentially unpalatable to calves if over dosed and the pH reduces any further.
Two sachets of pKA will acidify the whole raw milk/colostrum (to less than pH 5) for approx. 150L (3L per calf per day for 7 weeks).
Directions for use
Start with freshly harvested milk. Collect milk and store in clean and sterile containers.
For whole milk, it is important that pKA is added to cooled milk (10-23degrees) to avoid curdling.
Add pKA® as soon as possible after harvesting. Results are better with fresh milk.
Add pKA® slowly and stir the milk while adding pKA®.
Test pH of the milk after pKA® has been added to ensure target pH of between 4.5-5 is achieved. Reducing the pH by too much may limit palatability and cause calves to drink less milk.
Stir acidified milk 3 or 4 times in a 24-hour period. Brief (one minute or less) stirring by hand or with slow agitation is preferable to brisk stirring for an extended period of time.
Allow pKA acidification of milk at least 8 hours before feeding to calves.
Milk can be warmed immediately prior to feeding, on farm. Or feed cold. Do not store previously warmed/acidified milk.
There may be initial feed refusal, until calves are used to the taste.
Acidified milk is suitable for feeding to calves, and can improve milk curdling and overall digestion.
Instructions for Use
- Collect colostrum and milk in a clean holding tank.
- Measure the volume of the milk.
- Dose rate is 6g for every 1L of milk. One 454g sachet will treat approx. 76L of milk.
- Mix pKA in a jug with a little water until dissolved, prior to adding to the tank.
- Always add acid to milk, not milk to acid.
- Avoid collecting ‘mastitis milk’ or antibiotic milk where possible.
- Treat new additions separately before adding to holding tank to maintain crucial pH (between 4.5 and 5).
- Hold milk for at least 8 hours before feeding to calves
- Safe for use with bobby calves (no withholding period)
Test the pH of milk half an hour after the addition of pKA to the milk and again just prior to it being fed to calves. Use pH test strips which can be purchased online and are available in a number of other stores including at farm merchant stores.
For further information and advice, please contact your local veterinarian.
Distributed by SVS Veterinary Supplies Ltd
Phone: 0800 808 387