Colostrum aids long-term survivability

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Research shows that calves fed 4.2 quarts of colostrum at birth fare better throughout life than those receiving just 2.1 quarts of colostrum.

“The more we learn about the benefits of feeding colostrum, the more we start to understand that early-life events appear to have long-term effects,” says Mike Van Amburgh, dairy nutritionist at Cornell University.

Take, for example, research completed at the University of Arizona. Brown Swiss calves were fed either 2.1 quarts or 4.2 quarts of colostrum at birth, and then fed identical rations and followed through two lactations. In addition to the 30-percent increase in prepubertal growth rates for calves fed 4.2 quarts of colostrum, the researchers also found a big difference in long-term survivability. Of the calves fed 2.1 quarts of colostrum, just 75.7 percent completed two lactations, whereas 87.1 percent of calves fed 4.2 quarts of colostrum completed two lactations.


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