“Colostrum is a perfect growth media for bacteria,” says Sam Leadley, calf-management specialist with Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates. That’s why you need to cool colostrum quickly. Here are three ways to do so:

1. Don’t overload the fridge. If you place two 5-gallon pails of colostrum into a household refrigerator, it will take four hours before the temperature in the middle falls to 60 F — the temperature needed to stop bacterial growth.

2. Pour colostrum into small containers, like 2-quart plastic pitchers, and set those in ice water or in the snow during winter.

3. Pour the colostrum over clean plastic soda pop bottles that have been filled with water and frozen.