Colostrum quality is essential to newborn calf health.

However, the quality of colostrum you feed to a newborn could be in jeopardy if it’s from a cow that leaked colostrum prior to calving, notes Simon Peek, veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin.

“The colostrum quality is significantly diminished compared to cows that did not leak,” Peek says. As a cow leaks colostrum, she also leaks precious immunoglobulins or antibodies which help the calf ward off disease. Thus, Peek recommends that you avoid feeding colostrum from a cow that leaked pre-calving.