Calf Colostrum

What Is Calf Colostrum?

 - Nutrient and immunoglobulin rich fluid is essential in ensuring the survival of any newborn calf.

- The only source of antibodies from the dam to provide passive immunity 

- IgG is the class of antibody responsible for the defence of the body against invading bacteria and viruses

The 3 Q’s of Calf Colostrum Management:

Quality

- High quality calf colostrum contains 50g/l IgG mg

- IgG concentration depends on disease history, volume of colostrum produced, breed and late pregnancy nutrition 

- Type of antibodies in colostrum depends on the antigens to which the cow/ewe has been exposed to, including vaccination and disease

Quantity

- Calves need 10% of their birth weight in colostrum within the first 6 hours,

Quickly

- The lining of the intestine can absorb IgG’s at birth

- Rapid growth of the intestine after birth results in the replacement of this lining within 24-36 hours

- Absorption ceases and is termed closure

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