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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #236907

Title: Advances in Colostrum Management

item Godden, S
item Wells, S
item Stabel, Judith
item Haines, D
item Bey, R
item Fetrow, J
item Pithua, P
item Donahue, M

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2009
Publication Date: 7/12/2009
Citation: Godden, S., Wells, S., Stabel, J.R., Haines, D., Bey, R., Fetrow, J., Pithua, P., Donahue, M. 2009. Advances in Colostrum Management [abstract]. American Dairy Science Association. Journal of Dairy Science. 92(E Supplement 1):165.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Failure of passive transfer (FPT) continues to affect a significant portion of North American dairy calves, contributing to high preweaning morbidity and mortality rates as well as impaired long-term health and performance. The goal of this presentation is to review key components of a successful colostrum management program, with emphasis on recent research findings of practical importance to the industry. A successful colostrum management program will require producers to consistently provide calves with a sufficient volume of clean, high quality colostrum within the first 6 hours of life. Colostrum quality may be improved through the dry cow vaccination program, proper feeding and management of the dry cow, and rapid harvest of colostrum within 6 hours after calving. Use of either a nipple bottle or esophageal tube feeder will provide equal and high levels of passive transfer of immunoglobulin (Ig), provided a large enough volume of colostrum is fed. Microorganisms that may be found in colostrum are of concern because i) pathogenic organisms can cause clinical or subclinical disease and ii) bacteria in colostrum can interfere with passive transfer of colostral Ig, contributing to FPT. Experts recommend that fresh colostrum contain fewer than 100,000 cfu per ml total bacteria count and fewer than 10,000 cfu per ml total coliform count. Methods to reduce colostrum contamination will include careful attention to udder preparation prior colostrum harvest, strict adherence to protocols for sanitation of milking, storage and feeding equipment, and avoiding the pooling of raw colostrum. Bacterial proliferation in stored colostrum can be reduced or minimized by feeding within 1-2 hours of collection, rapid refrigeration (feed within 48 hours) or freezing. Colostrum replacers can also be useful tools, with recent studies demonstrating a lower risk of subclinical Johne’s disease in calves originally fed a colostrum replacer vs raw colostrum. If using replacers, producers should feed 150 to 200 g IgG in a product that has been previously tested for efficacy. Alternately, pasteurization of colostrum (60 °C for 60 min.) has been shown to reduce pathogen exposure while maintaining colostrum Ig levels and resulting in enhanced passive transfer in calves.