Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2008
Publication Date: 2/5/2009
Citation: Donahue, M., Godden, S., Bey, R., Wells, S., Fetrow, J., Stabel, J.R. 2009. Effect of Heat-treatment on Quality and Microbiology of Colostrum and on Passive Transfer of Immunoglobulin G in Newborn Calves [abstract].
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to describe the effect of heat-treatment on microbial counts and IgG levels in colostrum and describe serum IgG concentrations in newborn calves fed heat-treated vs raw colostrum. Six farms, ranging from 1,200 to 2,500 cows, enrolled in the study. First milking colostrum was collected, refrigerated, and pooled into batches. Half of each batch was raw, while the second half was heat-treated at 60 degrees C for 60 minutes using an on farm pasteurizer (DairyTech, Inc., Windsor, CO). Raw and heat-treated samples from each batch were analyzed for total plate count (TPC), total coliform count (TCC) (cfus/ml), and colostrum IgG (mg/ml). Calves were removed from the dam at birth. Using alternate assignment, calves were fed 3.8L of either raw (n = 518) or heat-treated (n = 572) colostrum within two hours of birth. Calves were individually housed and all treatment and death events were recorded until weaning. Blood samples collected from each calf within a week of age were measured for serum total protein (g/dl) and serum IgG concentrations (mg/ml). Bacteria counts were higher for raw (TPC = 5.40, TCC = 4.36 (log10 cfu/ml)) than heat-treated colostrum (TPC = 3.61; TCC = 2.30 (log10 cfu/ml)) (p <0.0001). Colostrum IgG levels were not different between treatments (p = 0.42). Mean serum IgG concentration was higher for calves fed heat-treated (16.94 mg/ml) vs. raw colostrum (14.48 mg/ml) (p < 0.001). Feeding heat-treated colostrum reduced bacterial exposure and enhanced passive transfer of IgG in calves. Funded by USDA-CSREES.