WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
Powdered milk replacers
Test results and tips for use

NOTE: None of the information presented makes any representation about the success or effectiveness of any individual or combination of powdered milk replacer products when fed to wild animals in rehabilitation.

 

Powdered milk replacer products used for juvenile wild mammals have many differences. These differences are evident in the composition of solids, proteins, fats, ingredients as well as ingredient sources, quality, weights and energy (kcals) between products. The processing of the ingredients can be very different – and significantly impact product stability, solubility, digestibility, accessibility, and utilization. In some cases, the same products may vary significantly between lots or manufacturing days. WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation has begun compiling, analyzing and making independent lab and user test results available for rehabilitators to help them make decisions about the products. This type of information is essential so that rehabilitators can help the animals while they are in care - and improve their chances after release. These resources will be expanded and updated as information becomes available and tests are completed on milk replacer lots and products.

New Video Resources. Click on the photo above to see 12 short videos that describe how to best understand and use the data and research presented on these pages.

 

The green boxes below have links to all of the tests and numbers. The blue boxes have links to help understand the implications of the test results. The links to individual lots at the far right provide specific test results.

In summary, the primary conclusions are as follows:

 

 

1. Ingredients vary widely between products and even between lots of the same product.

2. The amount of nutrients and minerals varies. The different levels of nutrients can affect animal health and development.

3. Physical properties of the product can affect measuring and can introduce significant error.

4. Solubility is a major issue. None of the products seem to really be an instant mix. Hotter water and longer hydration time have been found to help improve the rehydration of the milk replacer powders. The better dissolved formulas may be digested easier and more completely, which can help improve health and growth.

5. The presence or absence of preservatives in the high fat products appear to have a direct correlation on shelf life and rancidity.

 

Last  updated

Test results and analysis

What does it all mean?

Component analysis (% protein, fat, minerals, etc.) 3/10/12 Independent test results (proximate and mineral analysis) for each dry product conducted by Midwest Labs. Calculated component analysis for each product when mixed 1:2 with water on a wet matter matter basis.

What's the difference between the dry and wet matter analysis?

Ingredients 3/10/12 A complete listing and comparison of the source ingredients as indicated on the product label or packaging. A very brief discussion of the fat, protein, minerals and other listed ingredients.
Physical properties (texture, etc.) 3/10/12 Handling and measurement characteristics for each product.

Variability between different lots is also discussed.

A discussion on how to compensate for weight differences in the product (rather than simply scooping) to insure adequate formula preparation.
Solubility 3/10/12 Extensive tests on solubility are presented. While all products indicate a simple instant mix, none of the products tested as such. A discussion on how hotter water temperature and longer hydration time can significantly improve reconstitution of the powdered product.
Stability (rancidity, storage, etc.) 5/6/10 Test results on rancidity. Some of the products contain preservatives and some do not. Suggestions on purchasing products with or without preservatives, and on product storage considerations.
Statement of independence. As noted throughout this website, the authors have no relationship with any of the manufacturers of the products tested, and receive no compensation, products or services from any of the manufacturers. Any and all expenses associated with the independent testing of the products, including purchase of the products and tests performed by Midwest Laboratories, have been fully funded through WildAgain.
 

Current updates and recent resources

1.) New products added (7) March 2012 (Fox Valley, KMR, and GNC).
2.) January, 2011 Update - Recap of 2010 research and testing plus new info. Squirrel formula recipe.
3.) Oct 19, 2010  new lots added - Esbilac® HG1440E % HG2080E and FoxVly 20/50 042160 lots added.
4.) May 2010  update on milk replacers - test summaries, Esbilac ingredient changes.
5.) Esbilac® Lot 3419E - noticeable changes from prior lots.
6.) In-depth report on Esbilac® - questions and test results. Mixing tips. Long and short versions available.
7.) Discussion of  measurement error - better to scoop or weigh?
8.) Article on probiotics - beneficial bacteria.

Click here for a  listing of prior updates.

Ingredients, composition, weights, & solubility tests by individual product & lot#
Esbilac® Lot HG2790E
Esbilac® Lot HG2080E
Esbilac® Lot HG1440E
Esbilac® Lot HG1240EY
Esbilac® Lot 0470E
Esbilac® Lot 3419E
Esbilac® Lot 2789E
Esbilac® Lot K2409E
Esbilac® Lot 2049E
Esbilac® Lot 1649E
Esbilac® Lot 1639E
Esbilac® Lot 0929E
Esbilac® Lot 0919E
Esbilac® Lot 0759E
Esbilac® Lot L2758E
Esbilac® Lot J1168E
Esbilac® Lot E0487E
Fox Valley® 40/25 Lot 022730
Fox Valley® 40/25 Lot 021941 2012
Fox Valley® 40/25 Lot 022491 2012
Fox Valley® 40/25 Lot 020261 2012
Fox Valley® 32/40 Lot 13139
Fox Valley® 32/40 Lot 10249
Fox Valley® 32/40 Lot 011471 2012
Fox Valley® 20/50 Lot 042160
Fox Valley® 20/50 Lot 43589
Fox Valley® 20/50  Lot 042721 2012
Fox Valley® 25/30 Lot 051391 2012
Fx Vly® UltraBoost Lot (Exp 5/11)
GME® Lot 2968GME
KMR® Lot 3439K
KMR® Lot 2769K
KMR® Lot 2759K
KMR® Lot 2389K
KMR® Lot N1469K
KMR® Lot E1626K
KMR® Lot K2973K
Just Born® Puppy Lot 52439A
MilkMatrix® 33/40 Lot HJ3130ZE
MilkMatrix® 33/40 Lot 3028
MultiMilk® Lot H1730U
MultiMilk® Lot 0476
GNC Puppy Lot 2170 2012
21stCentury® Kitten Lot 908117
21stCentury® Puppy Lot 902356

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