kolostrum-buzağı-besleme-ne kadar-yeterli

Colostrum Feeding, How Much is Enough?

Jim Quigley
May 9, 2021

The greatest risk occurs when the calf will receive too little colostrum,

which puts the calf at great risk of disease and death.

The traditional recommendation has been to feed 2 quarts of colostrum as soon as possible after birth and then again, 12 hours later. Is this recommendation still applicable today? Feeding too much colostrum is not usually considered a problem – unless it is fed at one time. So, how much is too much and how little is too little?

Unfortunately, the answer is not as easy as it seems. The amount of colostrum to feed really depends on several factors – including the amount of antibody (or Ig) in the colostrum, the body weight of the calf, the age of the calf at first feeding, and several other factors.

Generally, the amount of colostrum was assumed – usually we assumed that 2 quarts of colostrum in each of two feedings would do the trick. However, in many cases, this will not provide enough antibody to the calf.

The issue of how much colostrum to feed is extremely important – to the producer and to the newborn calf.

 Using a colostrometer can provide you with an idea of whether the colostrum is of sufficient quality (see Calf Note, Using the colostrometer to measure colostrum quality) So what are you to do? Many veterinarians recommend feeding 4 quarts of colostrum to Holstein calves in the first feeding – by esophageal feeder if necessary. By feeding a large amount in the first feeding, you can maximize absorption of antibody.

Of course, Jersey calves and small Holsteins should be fed a smaller amount. Another approach is to look at the volume of colostrum produced. Washington state researchers reported that when a cow produces more than about 18 lbs. of colostrum, it may contain less Ig than necessary to provide adequate passive immunity for the calf.



Allow cows to calve in a clean, dry maternity pen or on a clean pasture.

Separate calves from the dam as soon as possible.

Feed first feeding of colostrum as soon as possible (within 1 hour) Use fresh colostrum from the dam if good quality Feed at least 3 quarts of colostrum in the first feeding and again 12 hours later (If colostrum quality can be determined and is of good quality, feed 2 quarts at the first feeding).
Feed 3 quarts of colostrum at each feeding if the calf is 45 kgs, has not consumed colostrum within the first 6 hours, or if the calving environment is dirty Use an esophageal feeder if the calf will not consume sufficient colostrum.

Measure colostrum quality with a colostrometer before use
Use only good quality colostrum Save good quality colostrum by freezing in 1 or 2 quart bottles. Thaw colostrum carefully to preserve antibodies Use fair and poor quality colostrum and transition milk only for older calves.

Dip navels with tincture of iodine as soon as possible
Put calf in an isolated, dry, and draft-free environment Continue to feed lower quality colostrum or transition milk for 2 to 3 days after birth.

Don’t forget to separate close-up cows from the herd, or forget to clean pens between cows.

Don’t leave the calf and dam together for more than an hour.

Don’t use colostrum from cows that are leaking colostrum from their udder prior to or at calving.
Use colostrum that contains blood or is mastitic. Wait for the calf to get up on its own and nurse Allow the calf to get its colostrum from nursing the dam, or feed less than 2 quarts per feeding Use a broken or dirty esophageal feeder.

Don’t use thin, watery colostrum, especially if from a heifer Use colostrum that contains blood or is otherwise abnormal Place frozen colostrum in extremely hot water or thaw in a microwave under high power for 1 min at a time (this destroys antibodies) Feed poor quality colostrum at the first 2 feedings.

Don’t use teat dip or other solution other than tincture of iodine to dip navels. Group calves together or house calves in a wet or drafty environment.

Estimated colostrum required by a 40 kg calf to achieve minimum plasma IgG concentration of 10 g/L at 24 hours of age.
  • Calf body weight 40 kg
  • Plasma volume (9% of BW) 3.6 liters
  • Minimum Plasma concentration 10 g/L
  • Apparent efficiency of absorption 35 %
  • Required IgG intake (3.6 × 10 / 0.35) 103
  • grams Colostral concentration 50 g/L
  • Required amount to feed 2.1

To calculate he amount (or mass) of IgG that a calf needs, several assumptions may be made, based on existing research data (Figure above).

Our goal is for the calf to obtain a minimum of 10 grams of IgG per liter of serum.

A calf’s plasma volume at 24 hours of age is approximately 9% of its body weight. To achieve 10 g/L, a newborn calf that weighs 40 kg (about 88 lbs.) must consume 36 grams of IgG from colostrum or a supplement by 24 hours of age. However, IgG is not absorbed with 100% efficiency. Research data suggest the efficiency is closer to 35% (the other 65-70% equilibrates with other body pools or is not absorbed at all).

So, to achieve 10 g/L, the calf must consume 103 grams of IgG (36 grams / 35%) by 24 hours. If a margin of safety is included in the calculations (achieving a plasma IgG concentration of 15 grams of IgG per liter), the calf needs to consume 154 grams of IgG. The efficiency of IgG absorption is an important component of the IgG intake equation. Efficiency is not a constant, but changes (declines) according to a number of factors – however, the most important is age at first feeding. Efficiency of IgG absorption is highest immediately after birth and declines to nearly zero by 24 hours of age.

Thereafter, little of the IgG consumed is absorbed into the bloodstream. Because efficiency of absorption declines with age, it’s critically important for colostrum (or supplements) to be fed as soon as possible after birth. Research estimates of efficiency of absorption vary widely and range from as high as 65% to as low as 25%. 



Ucuz Yemin Gizli Maliyeti 

Kaliteli inek yemine yatırım yapmak, hayvanlarınızın sağlığı ve verimliliği açısından son derece önemlidir. Düşük fiyatlı seçenekler cazip görünse de, genellikle gerekli besin maddelerini eksik tutar ve zayıf büyümeye, yetersiz süt üretimine ve genel olarak sağlık sorunlarına neden olabilir.

Üstün kaliteli yemler, daha yüksek maliyetlerine rağmen, optimal büyümeyi ve bağışıklığı destekleyen dengeli bir protein, mineral ve vitamin karışımını içerir. Fiyat yerine kaliteye öncelik vererek, ineklerinizin uzun vadeli karlılık ve refahlarını koruyarak, maksimum süt üretimi ve genel performans açısından en iyi sonuçları elde etmiş olursunuz.

Sürünüzün sağlığını düzenli olarak izleyin ve değerlendirin, rutin veteriner kontrolleri ve aşılar dahil…

İneklerin beslenme ihtiyaçlarını karşılamak için dengeli bir diyet sağlayın, yeterli yem, konsantre, mineral ve su sağlayın.

Süt üretimini etkileyebilecek beslenme eksiklikleri veya aşırılıklarını önlemek için uygun bir yemleme yönetim planı uygulayın.


Ucuz ve düşük kaliteli yem, bitki, tahıl, protein kaynakları, mineraller & vitaminler ve yağ alımdan kaçının. Eğer düşük kaliteli yeme 50 TL harcarsanız ve sadece günlük 40 litre süt üretiyorsanız, litre başına maliyetiniz 1,25 TL’ye yükselir. Daha fazla harcama yapıyor ve daha az alıyorsunuz!


Nutrition is key in dairy farming. The health and productivity of your cows directly depend on their diet. Proper nutrition leads to high milk yield and healthier cows that are resistant to diseases.

Cheap is Expensive

Now, let’s think about this in terms of cow feed.

You could buy a bag of cheaper feed for 50 TL. But because it’s not packed full of the good stuff your cows need, they only produce 40 liters of milk each day. In a week, you get 280 liters of milk.

But what if you go for the second option? You buy the higher-quality feed for 75 TL. It’s more expensive, but it’s better for your cows and they start to produce more milk. In this case, they give you 60 liters per day. So, over a week, you get 420 liters of milk.

Yes, you are paying 25 TL more for the feed, but you are also getting an extra 140 liters of milk each week. If you sell this milk for even just 1 TL per liter, you get an extra 140 TL. After taking out the 25 TL for the better feed, you’re still making an additional 115 TL every week.

One significant study is the “Feeding Dairy Cows for Increased Milk Production” conducted by the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. According to this research, it’s demonstrated that the quality of feed significantly affects the milk yield of dairy cows. High-quality feed that is rich in nutrients helps enhance the cows’ milk production, whereas low-quality feed can result in decreased milk yield.

Regularly monitor and evaluate the health of your dairy herd, including routine veterinary check-ups and vaccinations.

Provide a balanced diet to meet the nutritional needs of the cows, ensuring sufficient forage, concentrates, minerals, and water.

Implement a proper feeding management plan to prevent nutritional deficiencies or excesses that could impact milk production.


Avoid buying cheap, low-quality ingredients. If you spend $50 on low-quality feed and only produce 40 liters of milk per day, your cost per liter rises to $1.25. You’d be spending more and getting less!


Nutrition is key in dairy farming. The health and productivity of your cows directly depend on their diet. Proper nutrition leads to high milk yield and healthier cows that are resistant to diseases.

Adopt Cost-efficient Practices

Imagine switching from an old, inefficient lightbulb that costs 75 TL per month to run, to a new energy-efficient one that only costs 37.5 TL per month. This kind of upgrade can save dairy farmers money, too, like investing in energy-efficient machinery.

Invest in Energy-Efficient Equipment: If you have an old piece of machinery that costs 2,000 TL per month to run, replacing it with a newer, energy-efficient model that costs only 1,500 TL per month could save you 6,000 TL in a year.

Implement Waste Management Practices: Manure and other waste products can be used as fertilizers or converted into biogas. This not only reduces waste but can also save you money or even generate income.

Optimize Feed Usage: By precisely measuring and delivering feed, you can reduce waste and ensure your cows are getting the nutrients they need without overspending. This could save you several thousand TL over the course of a year.


Don’t Stick with Outdated Practices: Just as you wouldn’t use an old, inefficient lightbulb that costs 75 TL per month when you could use a new one costing 37.5 TL, don’t stick to outdated farming practices that drain your finances.

Don’t Neglect Regular Maintenance: Failing to maintain your equipment can lead to breakdowns and costly repairs. Regularly servicing your machinery might cost a few hundred TL but could prevent a breakdown that could cost several thousand.

Don’t Overlook Small Savings: Even small changes can add up to significant savings over time. 


Investing in energy-efficient equipment can result in considerable cost savings over time. It’s a long-term investment towards sustainability and profitability of your farm.

Effective waste management can turn a cost (disposal) into a profit (fertilizer, energy). It’s also more sustainable and environmentally friendly, which can be a selling point for eco-conscious consumers.

Old practices and technologies often involve higher costs and lower efficiency. Adopting new technologies and practices can help you increase efficiency, reduce costs, and stay competitive in the market.

Regular maintenance prevents equipment breakdown, which can lead to costly repairs and lost productivity. A well-maintained machine operates more efficiently and lasts longer, saving money in the long run.

Regular Health Check-ups and Vaccinations

Just like children need regular check-ups and vaccines to stay healthy, cows also need frequent veterinary check-ups and vaccinations. If you spend $200 on veterinary bills and vaccinations each month and this keeps your 100 cows healthy, it’s only costing you $2 per cow for the month.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits: Just like humans, cows need routine check-ups to ensure they’re in good health. These visits can help catch any health issues early before they become serious problems. For example, a monthly check-up might cost around 500 TL, but it could prevent an illness that could cost several thousand TL in lost production and treatment costs.

Invest in Preventive Care: Regular vaccinations and deworming treatments are essential for maintaining the health of your dairy herd. This might cost around 300 TL per cow per year, but it can prevent diseases that can severely impact milk production.

Educate Yourself and Your Staff: Understand the signs of common diseases and conditions that can affect cows. The more knowledgeable you and your staff are, the quicker you can react if a cow becomes ill.


Don’t neglect Your Herd’s Health: Skipping check-ups or vaccinations as a cost-saving measure could lead to severe consequences down the line. An illness that costs 5,000 TL to treat might have been preventable with a 500 TL vaccine.

Don’t ignore Advice from Your Vet: Your vet is a valuable resource, so don’t disregard their advice. If they recommend a certain vaccine or treatment, it’s usually for a good reason.

Don’t Delay Treatment: If a cow shows signs of illness, get it checked out immediately. Delaying treatment can lead to worse health outcomes for the cow and potentially higher treatment costs.


Healthy cows mean a thriving dairy business. Diseases can quickly spread in a herd, leading to a significant decrease in milk production and potentially devastating economic losses.


Moreover, by feeding your cows with better-quality feed, you’re keeping them healthier. This means fewer visits from the vet, which can be quite expensive.

In the end, while the better feed has a higher price tag, it’s a wise investment. It’s like buying the more expensive but long-lasting pair of shoes. Your cows will be healthier, produce more milk, and that means more income for you in the long run.Good feed now is money in your pocket later.

Strategies for Dairy Farmers to Sustain Milk Production in Challenging Economic Periods

Strategies for Dairy Farmers to Sustain Milk Production in Challenging Economic Periods

In challenging economic periods, dairy farmers face the task of sustaining milk production while navigating financial uncertainties. To achieve this, they can employ various strategies. First, optimizing herd health through regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet ensures healthy cows and increased productivity. Effective reproductive management, including accurate record-keeping and timely calving, maintains a consistent milk supply. Attention to milk quality and hygiene is crucial to meet regulatory standards and consumer demands. Managing input costs by evaluating expenses and seeking cost-saving measures helps maintain profitability. Additionally, exploring value-added opportunities, such as producing dairy products with higher profit margins, expands revenue streams. By implementing these strategies, dairy farmers can mitigate the impact of challenging economic periods, sustain milk production, and secure the long-term viability of their operations.

Why Calf Cough is an Unreliable Early Warning Sign for Respiratory Diseases in Calves

Why Calf Cough is an Unreliable Early Warning Sign for Respiratory Diseases in Calves

Early detection and treatment of respiratory diseases in calves is crucial for minimizing damage to their respiratory system and ensuring their maximum production potential.

However, relying solely on calf cough to diagnose such diseases is not an effective early warning tool, as research from the US has suggested. Veterinary epidemiologist, Terri Ollivett, has pioneered an approach called WeanClean, which involves using lung ultrasonography to check calves for lung lesions before clinical symptoms are likely to be displayed. By carrying out ultrasounds at four strategic points, this approach aims to measure lung disease at weaning and administer treatment if necessary, so that producers can wean their animals with clean and healthy lungs. The use of ultrasound scanning as an effective tool for early detection and treatment of respiratory diseases in calves highlights the need to go beyond calf cough as an early warning sign.

ProMix in Animal Feeding: The Advantages and Applications

ProMix in Animal Feeding: The Advantages and Applications

ProMix in Animal Feeding: The Advantages and Applications

ProMix is a popular blend of soilless growing media that has revolutionized how plants are grown. But did you know that ProMix also has applications in animal feeding science? In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and uses of ProMix in animal feeding.

Promix is a complementary feed produced to enable businesses with sufficient amounts of their own barley to obtain a feed equivalent to Armoni. By mixing 1kg of Promix with 1kg of crushed barley, 2kg of a feed similar to Armoni can be obtained. The daily amount to be given varies according to the quality and characteristics of the roughage used.

Top tips for improving your calving setup

Top tips for improving your calving setup

Calving can be a stressful period fraught with danger but simple improvements every dairy and beef farm can make to their existing setup can minimise risk to the operator and the animal. Whether it is investing in a restraining yoke and gate for assisted calvings or...