Journal Article


S J Morrison
A Gordon
M Welsh
B Earley
A Ashfield
A Dunn



cattle immunoglobulin g metabolism grassland animals animals newborn northern ireland lactose female colostrum

Evaluation of factors associated with immunoglobulin G, fat, protein, and lactose concentrations in bovine colostrum and colostrum management practices in grassland-based dairy systems in Northern Ireland. (2016)

Abstract The objectives of this study were to investigate colostrum feeding practices and colostrum quality on commercial grassland-based dairy farms, and to identify factors associated with colostrum quality that could help inform the development of colostrum management protocols. Over 1 yr, background information associated with dairy calvings and colostrum management practices were recorded on 21 commercial dairy farms. Colostrum samples (n = 1,239) were analyzed for fat, protein, lactose, and IgG concentration. A subset was analyzed for somatic cell count and total viable bacteria count. Factors associated with nutritional and IgG concentrations were determined using both univariate and multivariate models. This study found that 51% of calves were administered their first feed of colostrum via esophageal tube, and the majority of calves (80%) were fed >2 L of colostrum at their first feed (mean = 2.9 L, SD = 0.79), at a mean time of 3.2 h (SD 4.36) after birth, but this ranged across farms. The mean colostral fat, protein, and lactose percentages and IgG concentrations were 6.4%, 14%, 2.7%, and 55 mg/mL, respectively. The mean somatic cell count and total viable count were 6.3 log10 and 6.1 log10, respectively. Overall, 44% of colostrum samples contained <50 mg/mL IgG, and almost 81% were in excess of industry guidelines (<100,000 cfu/mL) for bacterial contamination. In the multivariate model, IgG concentration was associated with parity and time from parturition to colostrum collection. The nutritional properties of colostrum were associated with parity, prepartum vaccination, season of calving, and dry cow nutrition. The large variation in colostrum quality found in the current study highlights the importance of routine colostrum testing, and now that factors associated with lower-quality colostrum on grassland-based dairy farms have been identified, producers and advisers are better informed and able to develop risk-based colostrum management protocols.
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Full list of authors on original publication

S J Morrison, A Gordon, M Welsh, B Earley, A Ashfield, A Dunn

Experts in our system

S J Morrison
Total Publications: 3
Michael D Welsh
Total Publications: 11
Bernadette Earley
Total Publications: 120