Friday, October 17, 2014

Collect Colostrum Sooner rather than Later

Have you heard this one?

"If I wait to collect colostrum from my fresh cows I will get more colostrum."

Sorry, life does not work that way. Recent research reported in the article entitled, "Milk production during the colostral period is not related to the later lactational performance in dairy cows" (Kessler, E. C. and Others, Journal of Dairy Science 97:2186-2192, April 2014), showed no relationship between the interval between calving and the volume of colostrum collected at first milking for both heifers and cows.

Waiting to collect colostrum is not an effective method to increase the volume of colostrum at the first milking.

But, there is a strong negative outcome of waiting for this first milking. Morin and Others reported that the longer one waits to collect colostrum after calving the lower the concentration of antibodies in the colostrum. Compared to milking a dam within 2 hours after calving, the antibody losses in colostrum were reported to be 17% at 6 hours post calving, 27% at 10 hours post calving and 33% at 14 hours post calving. 

Collect colostrum sooner rather than later in order to harvest the highest quality colostrum from your fresh animals. 

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