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1st June, 2020

Calves need colostrum but it must be of excellent quality to ensure future health and survivability.

A major problem with dry cow fresh cow transition management is the ultimate quality of the colostrum produced by the cow immediately after calving. This can be of inferior quality because of the cow during the dry cow transition phase.

A simple procedure would be to use a refractometer which uses small sample of colostrum. The refractometer can be held up to natural light for a reading to be taken. A reading of 22% correlates to 50grams per litre of immunoglobulins/antibodies. The minimum quality of colostrum required is 50 grams. A 40 kg calf will require 4 litres of this colostrum within the first 4 hours of life. Unlike other procedures for taking colostrum readings, the refractometer uses light refraction and is unaffected by temperature fraudulent of total solid content of the colostrum.