Friday, May 27, 2016

Checking Passive Transfer of Immunity

One of my clients routinely checks on passive transfer of immunity once a month.

Industry goals are:
90 percent at or above 5.0g/dl, and
75 percent at or above 5.5g/dl.

The May report just came to my desk.

These are the 2016 results: (bold shows failure to meet industry goals)

                                                     January  March    April     May  
Percent at or above 5.0g/dl             82%       92%     88%      82%

Percent at or above 5.5g/dl             82%       92%     88%      55%

(N)                                                  11           12          8          11

The May values look like this: (in order by calf ID number)
5.5
6.2
4.3
4.8
5.8
6.1
5.9
5.4
6.1
5.3
5.2

Notice that the lowest BSTP values are grouped. Additional information would be needed to pick out the most reasonable reason for these low values.

Here are several examples:

1. Low quality colostrum from one cow fed to two calves in a row? [a breakdown of the farm protocol to check all colostrum before feeding].

2. Possible delay in feeding colostrum - were these calves born at a time when labor was not available to promptly feed colostrum - calves had to wait to the end of the milking shift to receive their first feeding of colostrum?

3. Person assigned to feed colostrum did not have the skills needed to use a tube feeder - maybe the calves received less than the prescribed four quarts of colostrum?

4. The colostrum fed to these two sets of calves had a high bacteria count? For example, the warm colostrum sat in the  utility room for several hours before being bottled and chilled. 

Bottom line - The potential for improvement depends on routine checking for passive transfer success. 


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