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CALF AT BIRTH
At birth, one of the first things that should systematically be assessed is to make sure that the calf takes its first feed of colostrum. As a matter of fact, the calf doesn’t have any prenatal immunity at this moment, and only few energy reserves. Therefore, it is essential for its survival to receive a source of antibodies and energy, which is best transmitted through the mother’s colostrum..
1)Foley, J. A. & Otterby, D. E. (1978) Availability, Storage, Treatment, Composition, and Feeding Value of Surplus Colostrum: A Review. Journal of Diary Science, 61(8), 1033-1060.
2) Decree of March 25, 1924, amended and supplemented by the Decree of 4 January 1971
COMPOSITION & ROLE OF THE COLOSTRUM
- Lipids and carbohydrates: for production of energy,
- Proteins: for metabolic process, new protein synthesis,
- Minerals and vitamins: for growth and resistance to infections.
More generally, the colostrum has a laxative function which helps with meconium expulsion. It also plays a role at the start of the digestive system establishment. But one of its main roles is the transfer of immunity to the calf.
Foley, J. A. & Otterby, D. E. (1978) Availability, Storage, Treatment, Composition, and Feeding Value of Surplus Colostrum: A Review. Journal of Diary Science, 61(8), 1033-1060.
Decree of March 25, 1924, amended and supplemented by the Decree of 4 January 1971
ACTIVE VERSE PASSIVE IMMUNITY
3) Besser TE and CC Gay, 1993. Colostral transfer of immunoglobulins to the calf. Vet Ann, 33: 53-61
IMPORTANCE OF THE COLOSTRUM INTAKE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DAIRY & SUCKLER COLOSTRUMS
In scientific literature, there are data on supply in energy of a dairy colostrum but none on a suckler colostrum. That is why Vétalis and ENVT (Veterinary University of Toulouse) have carried out a study on 23 Charolaise breed cows in order to analyse sugar, fat, protein and IgG rates.
4) Kehoe et al, 2007. Journal of Dairy Science. Vol. 90, n° 9, pp. 4108 4116
Therefore, considering the tough winter calving conditions, the fact that the natural colostrum offsets barely the minimum of the calf’s needs, and that ADG objectives are higher and higher, the risk of energetical deficit in suckler calf is important and must not be neglected.
– Natural Vitamin C which is an energetical booster,
– Caffeine, general stimulant of the Central Nervous System,
– And aromatic susbstances as appetence factors.
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