Colostrum delivery affects the health, well-being and productivity of dairy calves for their entire lives.

According to the DCHA Gold Standards, newborn heifer and bull calves need prompt and sufficient feedings of colostrum or equivalent to ensure they develop an effective immune system. All calves — whether they are kept on the farm or sold — should be fed in a way that promotes health and minimizes the risk of disease.

Recommendations for proper colostrum management can be found in the DCHA Gold Standards I and Gold Standards III.

Feed only clean colostrum with high antibody levels. Make sure your feeding procedure is based on the biology of antibody absorption. A good goal is to feed clean, high-quality colostrum equaling a minimum of 10 percent of calf body weight in the first 2 hours of life. For additional advice on colostrum collection, handling and feeding, refer to the Gold Standards I and Gold Standards III.  

DCHA is the only national association dedicated to serving the dairy calf and heifer industry. The association strives to provide information, education and access to leading research and technology to its members and the calf and heifer industry.