Colostrum; Do I need a Replacer or Supplement?

Stan Smith, Fairfield County PA, OSU Extension

Most know that calves are not born with any immunoglobulins, which help provide protection from disease. Immunoglobulins are supplied by the cow via colostrum, or first milk, and calves only have a 24 hour window to ingest these molecules through the lining of their gut before that window closes.

Occasionally due to the death of the cow at birth, or perhaps other calamity, new born calves aren’t able to receive adequate colostrum from the cow. In this event, colostrum can be provided to the calf in a few different ways including through purchased colostrum replacers, or supplements. The question is often asked, “which is best, or even adequate?”

During a portion of his presentation at the 2019 Ohio Beef School, Dr. Justin Kieffer discussed the necessity of ensuring the calf receives adequate colostrum, and when it was appropriate to offer the calf either a colostrum replacer, or supplement. Find that 5 minute portion of Dr. Kieffer’s presentation below.