Colostrum

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
I am looking for somewhere that sells powdered calf colostrum in bigger quantities than a single dose. Ideally I'd like to buy up to 5kg of it. A single dose can often run into €15. I can access beastings and freeze it, but in the thick of calving, powdered colostrum is very convenient and can often be the key to getting a calf up and sucking rather than having to thaw frozen beastings or running the risk of bringing in disease.

If we have any doubt about a calf, especially in the middle of the night, we tend to make up half a litre and tube it into the calf.

Even if there's someplace in the UK that will deliver to a Uk address, I can use parcel motel to have it delivered.

Any info appreciated.
 
Last edited:

ranger

Well-Known Member
I am looking for somewhere that sells powdered calf colostrum in bigger quantities than a single dose. Ideally I'd like to buy up to 5kg of it. A single dose can often run into €15. I can access beastings and freeze it, but in the thick of calving, powdered colostrum is very convenient and can often be the key to getting a calf up and sucking rather than having to thaw frozen beastings or running the risk of bringing in disease.

If we have any doubt about a calf, especially in the middle of the night, we tend to make up half a litre and tube it into the calf.

Even if there's someplace in the UK that will deliver to a Uk address, I can use parcel motel to have it delivered.

Any info appreciated.
we use this occasionally

https://www.agridirect.ie/product/superstart-calf-and-lamb-colostrum

for lambs & in spite of criticism on another forum, think it works ok, certainly saved more by giving it than nothing
 

farmerjack

Well-Known Member
My vet told me powered colostrum was useless and I'd be better using stored colostrum. Surely if you are in the thick of calving you could store it reasonable fresh without freezing. If a cow didn't get dry cow tubes her colostrum would hold fresh for over a week as it has the same bacteria as yogurt. That's my opinion anyway.
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
My vet told me powered colostrum was useless and I'd be better using stored colostrum. Surely if you are in the thick of calving you could store it reasonable fresh without freezing. If a cow didn't get dry cow tubes her colostrum would hold fresh for over a week as it has the same bacteria as yogurt. That's my opinion anyway.

100% agree. Only issue is that it can be a suicide mission to try to milk a suckler cow. We could source it from a dairy farmer but colostrum is a big disease carrier and we are very much a closed herd.

In fairness, the cows colostrum is the best but sometimes you have to give a calf a bit of a boost so that he will suck himself. Then there's the 3am calf when you can't keep your eyes open. Pop half a litre into him and you know that he's safe till 8am.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
Local dairy man has bought some form of pasturizer to treat his colostrum. To avoid spreading any diseases within the heard to calves.
No idea how much one is but worth a look?
 

Green Grass

Well-Known Member
I don think it is much harm to leave them until morning if they calf in the middle of the night.All the lads that preach about feeding colostrum in the middle of the night would not have done too much feeding of it themselves
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
It's probably the most important job at calving. It makes no odds if it's 4pm or 4am they should be getting it within an hour.
I would be of that opinion too. 8 out of 10 calves on their own here and never has to be pushed up to suck, but when you are not prepared, that's when you will need colostrum. And you can get a run of bad luck with it and need colostrum twice in 1 week and not need it again all year.
 

MF30

Well-Known Member
I source colostrum from a top notch dairy farm and have it frozen in 2 litre containers. If a cow is calving late at night I put a 2 lt frozen container into a bucket and fill it with water from the hot tap. When bucket is full put a lid on it securely and in one hour it has thawed perfectly and is up to body temperature. Calf gets the 2 litres and its peace of mind that the calf is protected for the night. Think it should be fed within the first 6 hours; after that its benefits are minimal. Vet here also reckons the powered stuff is weak enough and cows colostrum is the way to go. I wouldn't recommend milking a suckler cow after calving for my own safety either.
MF30
 

KJL

Well-Known Member
I would be of that opinion too. 8 out of 10 calves on their own here and never has to be pushed up to suck, but when you are not prepared, that's when you will need colostrum. And you can get a run of bad luck with it and need colostrum twice in 1 week and not need it again all year.

Get some from a dairy farmer that is Johne's free, or at least in the AHI Johne's programme. Keep a good stock of it frozen.

You might as well give them a can of fanta as the bought stuff. There is a risk in getting colostrum from a neighbour and freezing it, but a visit to the mart will probably bring a greater risk of introducing disease to your farm on your footware and clothes when you return.
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
Get some from a dairy farmer that is Johne's free, or at least in the AHI Johne's programme. Keep a good stock of it frozen.

You might as well give them a can of fanta as the bought stuff. There is a risk in getting colostrum from a neighbour and freezing it, but a visit to the mart will probably bring a greater risk of introducing disease to your farm on your footware and clothes when you return.
As I said above, we don't use powdered colostrum as a whole feed. Its used to give calves a boost so that they will go and suck for themselves. Powdered colostrum has saved calves lives on our farm.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
Interesting question regarding colostrum quality

Does colour and consistency have any bearing on quality?

I notice quite a variety in colour and thickness in our ewes. But very few issues in the lambs (touch wood!)

And I get cow colostrum from two farms. One nz style JerseyX, which has dark yellow colostrum
And some from a high yielding Holstine farm, which tends to be much lighter in colour.
Both farms have excellent calves and few issues. And would both be very well managed units.
 

13spanner

Well-Known Member
Buy 3 buckets off Agridirect every year.
It’s very handy for night calving and never any problems once they don’t get a taste of the mother’s milk first.
 

Rusty Spade

Well-Known Member
Interesting question regarding colostrum quality

Does colour and consistency have any bearing on quality?

I notice quite a variety in colour and thickness in our ewes. But very few issues in the lambs (touch wood!)

And I get cow colostrum from two farms. One nz style JerseyX, which has dark yellow colostrum
And some from a high yielding Holstine farm, which tends to be much lighter in colour.
Both farms have excellent calves and few issues. And would both be very well managed units.
To a degree, colour and consistency can have an indication of quality. The milk from lower yielding animals could have a higher concentration as there's less dilution with the milk like in the Jex and HO differences above. I would generally go for the thicker, yellower one myself but I bought a refractometer earlier this year to test the colostrum and some of the paler colostrum was reading higher than the darker ones which surprised me.
 
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