News & Advice

Getting colostrum management right – Why it matters so much?

Jun 5, 2019 | Dairy, Young Stock

A vast majority of farms aren’t achieving recommended targets for colostrum. Why is this? And why is it important? It’s common to hear people say my colostrum management is fine as I have no issues with my calves, but getting colostrum right impacts further than just preventing calf scours.
Its recommended calves get high antibody colostrum (>22% BRIX) within 6 hours of life. They need 10% of their body weight within 12 hours to achieve immunity. 

Did you know… 

Calves are born with few antibodies and immature immunity. They need antibodies from colostrum for immunity against common diseases. Failure of passive transfer (getting enough antibodies) leads to… 

  • Increased incidence of disease and illness such as scours, navel ill and joint ill etc. 
  • Increased death rates 
  • Decreased growth rates. Studies show calves never catch up to target weights and impacts begin right from their first week of life. 
  • Lower reproductive performance 
  • Less milk production in their first lactation 

Do you keep records of how many calves get sick, scour or die? This information is essential for comparing season to season.

Replacement calves are your future production and earning potential. Make a few small changes now for long term improvements. For help with what changes to make or calf rearing protocols, call your vet.

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