Quickness ( ;-)) in other words: Speed)
The speed with which the calf first receives colostrum is of extreme importance. We have to give 10% of the body weight in colostrum in the FIRST 1-2 HOURS OF LIFE… maximum 6 hours!
What are our options?
- Bottle: Only fits 2-3 liters in a bottle… Possible, but will have to be sure to feed the calf twice in the first 6 hours.
- Tube: The calf can be tubed once with 4 liters, using proper handling and good tubing technique. There is no problem with overflow if you are doing it correctly
- Suckling the dam:Not a good idea! We have no idea of the amount of colostrum that the calf has consumed. We also have no idea of when the calf actually drank. Again: bad option!
What about the calf born at 11:00 at night? What about a dead cow at calving? How about if there is no colostrum?
The answer to all of these questions? COLOSTRUM REPLACER.
There are 2 types of colostrum replacers:
- Colostrum powder: Easy to mix, Ready in 5 minutes, good quality, Disease free! Only one problem: can be expensive. Very useful for late calving or dead cow however.
- Frozen colostrum. Here you have good quality (if frozen properly) at a good price! Thawing technique is extremely important (water should never be over 120 F). Very cheap! This does take longer than 5 minutes, but is a good replacement solution overall.