Monday, May 16, 2016

Colostrum: Quantity and Quality Variation

This is the title of a new Calf Facts resource sheet just added to the Calf Facts section of the web site. Click Here to go to the resource sheet. 

A summary of the content is:

  • Findings from two studies are summarized, one from Pennsylvania and the other was US national including twelve states.
  • Later lactation cows had higher levels of antibody concentration.
  • Poor quality colostrum was present for all lactations - better to check before feeding.
  • Average quantity was in the range of 6.4 to 7.2 quarts (6-6.8l).
  • There was a very wide variation in antibody (IgG) concentration at every interval of colostrum quantity. Volume was an unpredictable guide for sorting out the lowest quality colostrum. 
  • Better to measure than guess - both Colostrometer or Brix refractometer are practical on-farm means of estimating antibody concentration.

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