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Colostrum supply - essential building block for successful calf rearing

The three main principles for feeding colostrum are: “Fast, sufficient, and top quality”.
If you embrace these principles you will get your calves off to the best possible start and ensure fast, healthy development.


Factor: time

  • The absorbability of immunoglobins in the calf's intestine drops very rapidly. 
  • It is reduced to zero after just a few hours. 
  • Vitamin A quickly protects the intestinal wall against bacteria colonisation.

Factor: quantity

  • The necessary immunoglobin level in the blood serum is only achieved with sufficient quantities of colostrum.
  • As a rule of thumb, the ideal quantity of colostrum in the first hour of life is:
    approx. 6% of the calf’s liveweight in litres of colostrum (e.g. 45 kg LW = approx. 2.5 litres) 
  • On the first day the ideal quantity is approx. 10% of the liveweight. 
  • This should be given in a controlled manner with a feeding bottle or a teat bucket. 
  • We recommend feeding mother’s milk for up to 5 days.

Factor: quality

  • Only healthy mother animals produce usable colostrum. 
  • It is only the first milk that is particularly rich in immunoglobins and vitamin A; active ingredient levels drop very rapidly.
  • Older herd cows have a higher immunoglobin level than younger ones, so it is worthwhile building up reserves. 
  • Colostrum from heifers and bought-in cows should be enhanced with additives. 
  • Vaccinated cows (long enough before calving) should be given priority as colostrum donors.


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Devision Cattle

Phone + 49 4101 218-3000

Fax   + 49 4101 218-3199