Timing of Colostrum Feeding Makes a Difference
A study reported efficiency of absorption of colostral antibodies. The research team claimed that all 20 calves were fed colostrum at 2 hours after birth.
They reported efficiency of absorption of 54%. Most of the literature reports values around 30 to 35%.
Why so high in this study compared to the other reported data? In my opinion it was due to the timing of feeding. None of the calves went more than 2 hours before the first feeding of colostrum of 200 grams of antibodies (IgG).
The much lower efficiency of absorption values reported in the literature includes data from calves receiving their first feeding of colostrum anytime before 24 hours.
I really like the protocol followed at the Cornell University Ruminant Research Center in Dryden, NY. They have a collect and feed protocol. The cow is milked as soon as practical right in the calving pen. After the colostrum is tested to be sure it meets the minimum antibody concentration the calf care person feeds the calf. Collect and Feed. No delay.
Timing of colostrum feeding makes a difference. Sooner is better.
As a side note, the research objective was to compare bottle and tube feeding of colostrum. They fed 3 L of adequate quality to provide at least 200g of antibodies. No differences were found in blood serum total protein, time to maximum concentration of BSTP, and efficiency of absorption.
Desjardins-Morrisssette, 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.
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