The DD-2 Digital-Dairy Refractometer will provide reliable estimates of the percent solids in waste milk and colostrum quality using the Brix Method, Blood serum total protein concentration scale can be used to to estimate the effects of passive transfer. The MISCO Digital-Dairy™ refractometers are specifically designed to help professional dairy farmers and calf ranchers to rear healthy calves. They are rugged enough to withstand the demands of farm use, yet precise enough to give laboratory-quality readings.
A measure of serum total protein concentration can be used as an indication of passive transfer. There is a close correlation between total protein concentration and IgG levels in calves 24 hours of age. The blood serum total protein test requires a sample of blood serum, not whole blood. Samples must be spun in a centrifuge, or allowed to sit undisturbed for 24 hours, to separate the serum from the whole blood before testing on the refractometer.
The versatile Brix scale can be used to measure the cut-off point separating good colostrum from bad. It can also be used to measure waste milk and calf milk replacer formulations.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. The DD-2 Digital-Dairy refractometer cannot read solids content directly, that would require the milk solids scale available only on Model DD-1 and DD-3, however you can determine percent solids using the Brix scale and then converting the result into percent solids using equation available from producers of calf milk replacer. Once percent solids have been determined it is easy to adjust the waste milk to desired solids 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.
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.
Be sure to download your free copy of, “MISCO Digital-Dairy Refractometers – Managing Waste Milk Solids, Colostrum Quality, and Dehydration in Dairy Calves.”
MISCO Refractometers are made in the USA. MISCO is a proud member of the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association & supporter of the Ohio Farm Bureau.