If a newborn calf fails to receive the right quantity and quality of colostrum quickly enough after birth it is four times more likely to die and twice as likely to succumb to infection.
Feeding quality colostrum with high levels of immunoglobulins is paramount. It is impossible to know if colostrum is high quality without measuring it.
In this short video, Richard Vecqueray of Evidence Based Veterinary Consultancy demonstrates how to use a refractometer to test colostrum.
See also: 7 tips for better calf nutrition
Thanks to ABP, Zoetis and Volac, whose sponsorship made it possible to run this Rethinking Cattle Performance workshop. Farmers Weekly had full editorial control of this article.
“ABP, Volac and Zoetis are committed to supporting UK cattle farmers in running enterprises that produce healthier, more productive animals.
Part of this commitment means working with organisations such as Farmers Weekly on initiatives such as the ‘Rethinking Cattle Performance’ campaign, to offer farmers the opportunity to learn from experts and their peers about the best ways to produce cattle, and particularly calves, as efficiently as possible.
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Farmers Weekly is running two more Rethinking Cattle Performance workshops. Find out more on the Rethinking Cattle Performance website.