Calves are born almost without antibodies in their blood (agammaglobulinemic).

The antibodies must therefore be supplied to the calf with the colostrum as soon as possible.

A good colostrum policy increases the chance of a good start for the newborn calf.

My starting point is that the calf ideally absorbs at least 200 g IgG (200 grams antibodies) with the non-contaminated colostrum within the first 4 to a maximum of 6 hours after birth.

Good colostrum contains at least 50 g IgG per liter.

To know the colostrum quality, we have to measure the colostrum.

The color and thickness of the colostrum says nothing at all about the content of usable antibodies.


Don't think that you can tackle or solve all health problems in calves with pasteurized colostrum or milk.

It is first of all important that you have the entire colostrum management process transparent and in order.

Tackling the actual bacteriological problem at the source is often the most effective.


The consequences of bacterially contaminated (polluted) colostrum:

By drinking this colostrum, calves can become infected with pathogenic micro-organisms (pathogenic agents).

Moreover, the presence of these germs in the colostrum will result in a lower antibody absorption by the calf.


A possible source of contamination of bacterially contaminated colostrum is the cow, which transmits pathogenic bacteria to the calf.

For example Mycoplasma bovis, Salmonella, Listeria, para-tuberculosis.


Pollution can also arise from the environment, such as unclean material in which the colostrum is milked, stored or supplied to the calf.


 If, despite all efforts, the bacterial pressure around colostrum management is still too high, pasteurisation can reduce the bacterial contamination in the colostrum.


Logically, the temperature at which the pasteurization takes place must be high enough to kill enough pathogenic germs.

If this temperature is TOO high, antibodies will be broken down or denatured.


In part 2 more about pasteurization of colostrum, including temperature and duration of pasteurization.