Thursday, May 30, 2013

Energy in Colostrum
 
I heard a presentation today (May 29, 2013) that contained information on hours of energy contained in 4 quarts of colostrum.
 
Here are the data:
                                                       Environmental conditions of the calf
                                     About 60F   About 52F    About 43F    About 34F
Grams of Fat
Needed per hour                 8.2              9.9               11.6              13.4

Hours of Energy
4 Qt. Colostrum                  9.2              7.7                 6.5                5.6
20%Fat
 
 
First, notice how rapidly the grams of fat needed per hour for maintaining core body temperature goes up as temperatures go down.

So, at 60F and above 4 quarts of colostrum will supply plenty of energy for maintenance for 9.2 hours. This is above and beyond the small amount of energy from stored fat in the newborn calf.

Let's look, however, at the near freezing environment - see 34F above. The energy from 4 quarts of colostrum will only last less than 6 hours. Then the calf begins to draw on body reserves (they are quite limited). 

What can we do to help these calves? 
  • Feed more colostrum during the first 48 hours.
  • Even we don't have any colostrum to feed, try feeding warm whole milk - it is much higher in energy than most milk replacers.
We do need to be aware that it is easy for newborn calves to run out of energy very quickly.

As temperatures
 

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