Value of a calf sick bay

What is the first thing we do when we see a sick calf, well normally the calf is treated. But in most cases the calf is left among his currently healthy companions.


We know the calf is sick because if it has pneumonia we can see that it is lethargic with dropped ears, possibly runny nose and is most likely coughing. With scour we notice the calf’s dung. Watery dung splashing everywhere or a coughing calf are how a disease spreads so it is the offending bug that is making the calf do it for its own purpose and that is to spread to another calf before its current host defeats it or dies.

So leaving the sick calf with its mates does them no favours but helps the disease causing bugs to expand to prosper. A shared teat full of saliva is another source of infection. If new young calves are introduced to the calf rearing area at the same time the disease will get a greater hold.

To break the chain we need to remove a sick calf regardless of how mild the disease is. This is best achieved by having a few individual pens or a few calf hutches for calves that are sick and those also considered disease risks. The latter include calves that may not have received enough colostrum, heifer’s calves or premature or weak calves. It is best to place these calves down wind of the rest of the calves and to feed last so as not to carry the disease back to the main group

By implementing this policy all calves will benefit from a cleaner environment so more of their nutrients can be used for growth and development. They will eat more, again improving performance and the farm workload will decline as it is easier to remove 1 calf every few weeks than treating 1-2 calves every day.


23% milk protein

Transition milk is the milk cows produce after colostrum and before they produce what we consider milk. It is higher in most nutrients and antibodies and is beneficial to feed to calves. However, the effect of high TBC’s in transition milk and the risk of spreading disease offset these benefits. Using Transformula is the perfect solution and gives baby calves what baby calves need.

A skim and whey milk replacer using milk protein with added immune-stimulants and probiotics for feeding calves in the first days of life.


  • Over 200g of low heat skim milk, buttermilk and concentrated whey protein in every 300g of feed.
  • Allows farmers to reduce medicine usage with young calves. Transformula contains 10 times the level of anti- scour agents found in standard calf milk.
  • Saves ½- ¾ hour work every day.
  • Contains Kryptonite – a plant extract to ensure the small intestine is a hostile environment for pathogens.
  • Contains buttermilk which reduces stomach upsets and feed refusals as it acts as an emulsifier enhancing fat breakdown and it contains a lactic acid flavour. Additionally, it can reduce rotavirus infectivity.
  • It contains a blend of oils which increases digestibility of fat for the calf; it is important to have a good mix of short, medium and long chained fatty acids. Additionally, it contains a blend of Omega 6:3 oils that increase the calf’s ability to combat pneumonia.

Mixing rate

Add 1 L jug of powder to 3 ½ L jugs of water (this will make enough milk replacer to feed 2 calves per feed) or 140g of powder made up to 1L of mixed Transformula.  

Feeding rate

Day 1 Colostrum up to 10% of calf’s body weight or 4L in first 2 hours of life
Day 2+ 280g in 1 ¾ L of warm water twice a day


  • Feeding recommendations based on 42kg Holstein Friesian calf. Adjust accordingly for small calves, twins and other breeds.
  • If disease challenges are high, feed for up to 21 days and then change to milk replacer

Contact us

Bonanza Calf Nutrition

Producers of the renowned Shine range of milk replacers for calves and lambs.


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