Tagging the Best Colostrum
A western New York dairy stores its colostrum in bags with a tab at the bottom.
They estimate the colostrum quality before it is bagged and chilled. They use the Brix refractometer reading to determine the number of holes to be punched in the tab of the bottom of the storage bag.
Their method is this:
Brix reading greater or equal to 25 = one hole [Excellent quality]
Brix reading of 22-24 = two holes
Brix reading less than or equal to 21 = three holes [Marginal quality]
Thus, it's quick and easy to spot the "best" colostrum - only one hole in the tab.
Remember the "Q's"
Quickly - as soon as practical, always before 4 hours
Quality - best stuff is for first feeding for heifer calves
Quantity - 10 percent of body weight - 90# calf gets 4 quarts
Quantify - blood test regularly to see that 90% at 5.0 BSTP or higher, 80% at 5.5 BSTP or higher
sQueaky clean - all equipment is washed after every use
[BSTP = blood serum total protein]