Colostrum: Helping Calves Survive and Thrive

Calf Colostrum


You may have noticed several new choices along with the calf colostrum supplements you’ve used in the past. With 100 grams bovine globulin protein (IgG) or more per serving, this new generation of colostrum replacement products offers twice the IgG of traditional colostrum supplements. Research presented at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual meeting helps us understand the need for colostrum products with 100 grams IgG or more.

Within the first 24 hours of life, it’s important that a calf receives enough colostrum to achieve successful passive transfer of immunity from disease. This can come in the form of maternal colostrum, a combination of maternal colostrum along with a colostrum supplement, or with the use of a newer 100+ IgG colostrum replacement product. Research has shown that calves receiving a minimum of 100 grams IgG if nipple fed, or 150 grams IgG if tube fed, are most likely to achieve successful passive transfer of immunity. This is noteworthy because calves that fail to achieve passive transfer are prone not only to the short term effects of death or disease, but also to reduced long term productivity, low weight gain and delayed calving. It’s clear that adequate colostrum sets the foundation for a calf’s ability to survive and thrive.

As always, if you have questions about the health of your herd, we will do our best to help you find answers that make sense.

Arnold Nagely, DVM • Ray Shultz, DVM

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