Are your calves getting enough colostrum?

A refractometer can help answer that question. The handheld device measures total protein in a blood plasma sample. Readings greater than 5.5 gm/dl indicate that the calf received an adequate amount of high-quality colostrum. At levels below 5 gm/dl, the calf is susceptible to disease.

“Blood samples can be taken between one and seven days of age,” says Dave Ellefson, a veterinarian with Fort Dodge Animal Health.