New Digital-Dairy Instrument Measures Waste Milk Solids, Colostrum Quality, Dehydration, and IgG Blood Levels

alt(CLEVELAND, OH – April 3, 2013) MISCO introduces their new Digital-Dairy™ line of refractometers specifically designed to help dairy farmers and calf ranchers to rear healthy calves. Among the many problems plaguing dairy farmers and calf ranchers are the management of waste milk and calf milk replacer, calf dehydration, and the measurement of colostrum quality to prevent failure of passive transfer.

MISCO Digital-Dairy refractometers are designed for use on professional dairy farms and calf ranches. Rugged enough to withstand the demands of farm use, yet precise enough to give laboratory-quality readings, the new Digital-Dairy Refractometers provide reliable estimates of the percent solids in waste milk, IgG blood levels, blood plasma protein concentration, colostrum quality, and calf hydration. The instruments are easy to use and require little or no training.

Nonsalable waste milk has been fed to calves for many years and represents a source of nutrition that is readily available, has few other uses, and is cheaper to feed than whole milk. However, solids content and bacteria levels are two problems associated with waste milk feeding. Since Digital-Dairy refractometers read directly in solids content, it only takes a few drops of milk to quickly determine the percent solids and adjust them to desired levels with calf milk replacer. Another quick test for bacterial contamination and milk spoilage can be conducted using a pH meter, also available from MISCO.

Mild dehydration can occur without symptoms until it is nearly too late. Whether due to scours or other causes, calves can lose up to six percent of their body weight in fluid before there is any visual indication of dehydration. If dehydration is caught early enough, fluid therapy can reverse it, but the key is catching it early. A Digital-Dairy refractometer, equipped with a special urine specific gravity scale, can quickly identify at-risk calves.

Calf ranchers and dairy farmers will immediately recognize the importance of colostrum quality. Digital-Dairy refractometer scales are available for testing colostrum itself, measuring IgG levels in the blood, or measuring blood plasma protein concentration.

“Thanks to the MISCO OPTICAL-ENGINE®, with its high-definition detector array, measurements made with the Digital-Dairy refractometers have a precision comparable to bench-top laboratory refractometers costing thousands of dollars more, yet it still fits in the palm of your hand,” Says Michael Caminer, of the MISCO Marketing Team.

Only a couple drops of sample are necessary to fill the Digital-Dairy’s stainless-steel sample well. The sapphire measuring surface, the next hardest substance to diamond, will withstand years of wear and tear. A simple user-friendly interface consists of two buttons: one to take readings and the other to step through various menu options. A large 24-character back lit LCD display is easily read, even in dim light, while an evaporation cover helps prevent evaporation and keeps out stray light.

Protection against inaccurate readings due to temperature differences, a major concern with refractometer measurements, is assured with nonlinear temperature compensation. Temperature compensation is automatic for fluids read between 10 and 40 °C (+50 to 104 °F). Digital-Dairy refractometers can be simply calibrated with water. Also, MISCO Refractometers are made in the USA.

For more information on the MISCO Digital-Dairy Refractometers, including a free technical bulletin, please visit the MISCO website at


A world leader in the refractometer field, MISCO is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, home to the company for more than 60 years. MISCO designs, manufactures, and sells a variety of refractometers, including: digital bench-top laboratory refractometers, inline process control refractometers, digital handheld refractometers, and traditional handheld instruments. For more information, please call (216) 831-1000, or access MISCO’s web site at