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Benefits of Colostrum Milk for Calf Health

Benefits of Colostrum Milk for Calf Health

The first milking of the cow after birth provides the highest quality or true colostrum. Cows supply low-quality colostrum or transitional milk for another 2-3 days. The quality of colostrum provided by cows is an important factor in the development of a healthy calf immune system. 

Therefore, it is important for calves to drink high-quality early colostrum in the required amount.

The quality of early colostrum varies from cow to cow, even within the same herd. For example, older cows have better quality colostrum than younger cows, especially heifers. The vaccination of cows also increases colostrum because additional antibodies are transferred to calves.

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While high-quality colostrum has significantly higher concentrations of solids, vitamins, and minerals than regular milk, a key component in the development of a calf's immune system is the concentration of immunoglobulins levels can be measured using a colostrum meter. 

A fairly inexpensive tool that can be used to test the quality of colostrum on the spot.

Colostrum storage to feed newborn calves

Since a typical cow produces enough colostrum for two or three calves, it can be collected, stored, and used as needed. Colostrum can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and still maintain its quality. The optimal method for long-term storage is freezing in the freezer without freezing in a regular freezer bag. 

Mary Mack