Colostrum hygiene

Published 23 February 15

Contamination during collection, transfer or feeding puts the calf at risk by introducing harmful bacteria when the calf has no active immunity to fight infection.

There are various stages when contamination of the colostrum may occur including from the cow (colostrum from Johne's positive animals should be discarded), from dirt on the udder, from the person handling the colostrum and from the equipment used. There is also the time when the colostrum is in a bucket prior to use.

As bacterial numbers in warm colostrum double every 20 minutes the storage method will also have an impact on the hygiene levels in the colostrum.