How management of colostrum has a big impact on its quality

What happens when farmers store colostrum in the dairy, calf shed, house or anywhere besides a fridge or freezer?

It grows bacteria, and very rapidly at that.

The most rapid growth occurs in the first hours after collection, so it is vital that it is stored correctly as soon as possible post collection.

It is important to note that the more bacteria that is in colostrum when farmers collect it, the more rapid the growth of bacteria.

The big question is does this affect calf immunity? And the answer is yes.

Work carried out by Bonanza Calf Nutrition’s Christine Cummins while undertaking her PhD shows the effect of feeding pasteurised colostrum, fresh or stored colostrum to induce various bacteria levels on calf immunity.

Christine Cummins of Bonanza Calf Nutrition pictured with the Moore family
Christine Cummins of Bonanza Calf Nutrition pictured with the Moore family

The study, conducted in Teagasc Moorepark, under the stewardship of Dr Emer Kennedy shows that the level of bacteria was lowest in the pasteurised sample and increased from the fresh colostrum right through to the sample stored at 22 degrees Celsius.

How storing affects the bacteria level of colostrum:

Source: Teagasc
Source: Teagasc

Calf Information Evenings

To find out more about colostrum management and other calf rearing management techniques, farmers are invited to a series of calf information meetings.

These meetings will take place from December 12-14, where Christine Cummins and her colleagues at Bonanza Calf Nutrition – the producers of the renowned range of Shine Milk Replacers – will discuss how to simply and successfully rear calves.

The evenings will also feature a discussion on how to minimise and combat disease while rearing calves on your farm.

When and where:

  • The Clonakilty Hotel, Co. Cork, December 12 at 7pm
  • Rochestown Park Hotel, Co. Cork, December 13 at 7pm
  • The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, December 14 at 7pm
Click here for more information on Shine Milk Replacers