Feeding Colostrum and Colostrum Replacers to Newborn Calves, Lambs and Kids

Colostrum is that "liquid gold" that gets newborn babies off to a good start. Colostrum is the first milk that a cow, ewe or doe produces after birth. It is thick and yellowish and rich in energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. But its most important role is protecting the newborn from potential disease and infection. At birth, newborns don't have any of their own antibodies against infectious organisms in the environment. Without the maternal antibodies in colostrum, they can become weak and die. Usually newborns get all the colostrum they need simply by nursing. But what if that's not possible? Sometimes there's a problem with the mom or the baby. Sometimes, we don't want newborns to nurse because we're trying to prevent disease transmission. That was my situation after two goats in my research herd were diagnosed with Johnes disease. Because we couldn't be sure at the time that our 35 pregnant does were not infected, kids could not nurse, and I had to find a way to give them the colostrum they need. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips to get your newborn the colostrum it needs. (Thanks to Troy Walz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Jennifer Bentley, Iowa State University, for their contributions to this article.) Feed Colostrum as Soon as Possible The antibodies (immunoglobulins) in colostru

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One thought on “Feeding Colostrum and Colostrum Replacers to Newborn Calves, Lambs and Kids

  1. As always Kat thy a good article on the subject at hand. Your experience and findings should be able to make a difference for a lot of people.

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