FEEDING colostrum to newborn calves is a well-known requirement to those raising healthy calves. And it’s not only about quantity but quality. In addition to protein and immunoglobulin content as a measure of colostrum quality, cleanliness of colostrum is important, too. High levels of bacteria in colostrum reduce the calf’s ability to absorb the colostrum. Also, bacteria in colostrum can be the starting point for infection.
A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted using 1,071 newborn calves from 6 commercial dairy farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with the primary objective being to describe the effects of feeding heat-treated colostrum on serum immunoglobulin G concentration and health in the preweaning period. A secondary objective was to complete a path analysis to identify intermediate factors that may explain how feeding heat-treated colostrum reduced the risk for illness.
S. M. Godden,*1 D. J. Smolenski,† M. Donahue,*2 J. M. Oakes,† R. Bey,* S. Wells,* S. Sreevatsan,* J. Stabel,‡
and J. Fetrow*
*Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108
†Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454
‡USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010
The rate of outbreaks caused by raw, unpasteurized milk and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Updated: 02/21/2012
Professional heifer growers are faced with the challenge of raising healthy calves while still paying close attention to rearing costs and profit. Heifer raisers have several options for liquid feeding programs for young calves including whole (saleable) milk, transition milk, waste or discard milk, and milk replacer. Factors that may be considered in selecting a liquid feeding program may include the number of calves fed, economics and cash flow, nutritional characteristics, calf performance targets, resource availability (e.g.
Sandra Godden DVM, DVSc
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN 55108
This was the start of a conversation that I have had with my regular Monday morning client for the past several years. I’d shrug and say “Nothin’, how about with you?”
But whenever I would return from my annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners meeting, I never got off that easily. There has always been a responsibility on my part to pass along information that I learned at the meeting to this particular client. His thought process was that if I needed to miss a weekly herd check, it had better benefit him in some way.
While research has documented conclusively that pasteurizing waste milk significantly reduces bacterial levels in the liquid calf feed source, USDA researchers have taken an interesting look at how the feeding practice affects long-term gut flora in the animals.
Calf management has become increasingly important for many dairy producers, as scientific evidence suggests that the early stages of a heifer’s development can have long-lasting effects on her future production.
As such, more attention has been given to adequate colostrum feeding soon after birth.
Department of Animal and Poultry Science
University of Saskatchewan