What makes colostrum unique?
Good-quality colostrum contains antibodies in the form of immunoglobulins, abbreviated to IgGs. Thanks to their ‘life history’, older cows deliver better-quality colostrum. But the antibodies are not the only elements that make colostrum a unique product; colostrum also contains other ‘life-critical substances’: white blood cells, growth hormones, vitamins, minerals, protein and energy. All of these ingredients help keep the calf happy and growing fast, also on day two and three following birth. “If at all possible, therefore make sure you feed colostrum on day two and day three, before switching to artificial milk,” recommended Ger van der Wersch, young stock specialist at FrieslandCampina in The Netherlands. And if you have slightly older calves who are at risk of diarrhoea, colostrum can be a useful preventive measure, explained Ger. “200 cc of colostrum mixed into the milk powder during the first few days offers better protection at intestinal level.”