How Long Does it Take for Antibodies from Colostrum to Reach their Maximum Concentration in Calf Blood?
Using blood drawn from 20 calves received one feeding of 3 liters of colostrum at or less than 2 hours after birth they found this: (this delivered at least 200g of antibodies)
Average time to maxiumum concentration:
Colostrum fed with nursing bottle = 786 minutes (13.1 hours)
Colostrum fed with tube feeder = 966 minutes (16.1 hours)
The variation was from an estimated low of 625 and estimated high of 1127 (18.8 hours).
Given the small number of calves in the study the difference in these times was not statistically reliable and could have been due to chance variation among calves.
Practical conclusion if we want to estimate maximum antibody blood level?
Wait to draw blood to assess effectiveness of passive transfer of antibodies until at least 18 hours after the last feeding of colostrum.
Reference: Desjardins-Morrissette, M. and Others, "The effect of nipple bottle vs. esophageal tube feeding of colostrum on absorption of IgG and plasma glucagon-like peptide-2 concentrations." Journal of Dairy Science 100:215 July 2017