Importance of quality colostrum and water availability

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Sheila McGuirk from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine shared the importance of quality colostrum and water availability in pre-weaned calves at the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference in early April.

  • Colostrum management has a critical impact on the health and survival of dairy calves from birth to weaning.  Beyond the immediate benefit of calf survival and pre-weaned health, colostrum also has long term implication on growth rate and feed efficiency, reproductive efficiency, milk production and longevity in the herd.
  • Water, always an essential nutrient, is most important for calves living outside their critical temperature range and being fed a diet high in total milk solids or when they are scouring.  Water requirements, even at birth, cannot be provided solely through the liquid feed.  Water should be introduced into the diet within the first three days of life and, ideally, available at all times.

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new york, ny  |  August, 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

colostrum compared with those in mature milk. possible effects of colostrum-borne TGF-β on the suckling animal, newborn piglets were naturally suckled or bottle-fed with porcine colostrum, bovine colostrum, porcine milk, infant formula or water for 24 h and intestinal TGF-β receptor intensity was assessed using an immunohistochemical staining technique in combination with computerized image analysis. The intestinal structure was also analyzed by morphometric analysis technique. It was observed that newborn pigs naturally suckled or bottle-fed with porcine or bovine colostrum had significantly greater intestinal villous height and crypt depth when compared with those fed with porcine milk, infant formula or water . The immunostaining intensity for TGF-β receptors in the intestinal epithelium, particularly on the apical membrane of the villous epithelium, was significantly lower in naturally suckled or colostrum fed piglets compared with that in piglets fed with milk, infant formula or water

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