Timely colostrum uptake critical to newborn calf health


Timely colostrum uptake critical to newborn calf health

A veterinarian is stressing the importance of getting colostrum to calves in the first few hours after birth.within hours of being born. 

Dr. Rich Caves with Osceola Vet Clinic says inadequate absorption of colostrum can be detrimental to a newborn calf.

“They can be prone to more diseases, they have lower weaning weights, they don’t have as good immune function throughout their life.”

He tells Brownfield he does not agree with the common thinking that calves have 24 hours to take in colostrum.

“If they don’t have good bonding to their mother, or they are not up sucking within one to two hours, they definitely need a colostrum supplement. And if they still haven’t been up nursing by six hours, they really need to get a full replacer within the 6 to 12-hour window.”

And Caves suggests not all colostrum supplements are created equal.

“There are some companies out there that are selling things that may have like vegetable oil in it or other things that are actually not bio-available to that young calf in absorption.”

Brownfield interviewed Caves Wednesday at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers Farming for the Future Conference in Osceola, Iowa.