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Colostrum -- The Key To Calf Survival

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Colostrum management is the most critical management factor in a young calf's life that influences its health and survival. The only disease protection a newborn calf receives is through colostrum. The most important disease preventing substances in colostrum are immunoglobulins (Ig), the most common being IgG. Calves don't really begin to produce their own Ig for disease protection until they are about 10 days old and reach normal levels by about 8 weeks of age. It is imperative that they receive an adequate amount of high quality colostrum as early after birth as possible to give them the best start. 
This article describes the nature and composition of colostrum, quality measures and evaluation techniques, proper consumption and absorption of IgG, storage techniques and other nutritive and non-nutritive components of colostrum.
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