Esophageal or “tube” feeders can be very helpful tools for providing calves with adequate amounts of colostrum as soon as possible after birth. Some farms use them as the primary method of feeding colostrum, while others tube only calves that fail to consume enough colostrum from a bottle.
A recent study at Penn State compares total serum protein and IgG concentrations and apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) in Holstein heifer calves when colostrum was fed by nipple bottle or esophageal feeder.
Study results show that the use of tube feeding did not reduce IgG absorption. Read about more results from the study, which was published in the December 2011 issue of the Professional Animal Scientist.
Source: Penn State Dairy Digest