WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.


Milk replacers for wildlife
Hydration time makes a difference

 

The use of hotter water in mixing with powdered milk replacers has generally shown to improve reconstitution of the powder. Additionally, allowing for a longer hydration time has an even greater affect in improving reconstitution, as described below. (An exception to this was the performance of the 21st Century products for puppies and kittens that appeared to reconstitute better with hot tap water and less hydration time.)

As shown in the photos below, longer hydration time produces a significant improvement in the rehydration of the products, in this case both Esbilac® and KMR®. In Figure 1, using the product as an instant mix produces a hard and dry cap at the top of the cylinder of unwetted powder, as well as significant separation of oil and dilute formula. The longer, 4-hour hydration alleviates both of those issues, producing a fully reconstituted formula. In Figure 2, using the product as an instant mix produces a hard and dry cap at the top of the cylinder of unwetted powder. The longer, 4-hour hydration alleviates that issue, producing a fully reconstituted formula, with only a small amount of flotation (not a hard and dry cap) in the top 4-5% of the cylinders. A gentle stirring of those cylinders produced a more even suspension of the formula.

Figure 1. Effects of water temperature and hydration time in the reconstitution of powdered Esbilac® to a liquid formula when mixed 1:2 with water. Figure 2. Effects of water temperature and hydration time in the reconstitution of powdered KMR® to a liquid formula when mixed 1:2 with water.

For most of the powdered milk replacer products used by rehabilitators, a longer hydration time (at least 4 hours and preferably longer) seems to produce a formula that is more fully reconstituted and contains little or no unwetted powder.

 

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