Good colostrum is essential for a healthy start
Everyone involved in calf rearing agrees on the need to give good colostrum to newborn calves. It provides immune protection during the first weeks of life. The essential nutrients, antibodies (IgG) and hormones contained in colostrum are necessary for the development of the calves. Transfer of passive immunity via IgG in the colostrum is necessary to ensure healthy and well-performing calves. However, each farmer manages colostrum differently.
Many studies have shown the correlation between the transfer of passive immunity and calf mortality. Based on the NAHMS Dairy (2014) Calf Component data, four blood serum IgG concentration categories were determined and proven reliable for evaluating if the transfer of passive immunity was successful (Excellent ≥25.0 g/L, Good 18.0-24.9 g/L, Fair 10.0-17.9 and Poor <10.0 g/L IgG). The results show the importance of the IgG level in colostrum and the reliability of this system to evaluate the transfer of passive immunity and ensure good calf results. In addition to being an indispensable source of IgG for the calf, colostrum contains proteins and energy, bioactive components, growth hormones, and oligosaccharides. All these elements are necessary for the good start and the development of the immune system, the digestive tract, and the metabolic system of the calf.
The connection between dairy and veal calves
As Denkavit we know that one of the most important parts of dairy and veal calf rearing is colostrum management. That is why we explain the best practices. We recommend the farmers measure their colostrum systematically. Denkavit advises using good quality maternal colostrum (minimum 21 BRIX to achieve a minimum of 18 g/L IgG in the blood serum) and to administer it to the calves as fast as possible after birth and during the first 3 days after birth. Denkavit supports calf rearing from birth onwards because fostering young animals is one of our priorities!
To learn more about colostrum, you can consult specific articles on our website.