Colostrum: Day 1 and beyond


  • Jennifer Rowntree Fort Atkinson, WI 53538



calf, colostrum, health


As dairy farms optimize maternity facilities and early life calf management, proper handling and storage of maternal colos­trum become the single point within a dairy system where all animals must flow. The success of this program therefore has a direct impact on calf and cow performance. Research has shown the benefits of feeding high-quality maternal colostrum to new­born calves and the key role it plays in gastrointestinal tract (GIT)1 and immune system development. Further research has shown benefits of extended colostrum feeding beyond day one to provide a local protective effect in the GIT, food for GIT mi­crobiota,2 and even as part of therapy for common early life calf illnesses such as scours3,4 and bovine respiratory disease (BRD).4 Producers and veterinarians should work together to understand how each dairy can best manage their maternity and colostrum programs to optimize early life calf health and development.