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  • Author or Editor: Munashe Chigerwe x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Quantify the minimum individual cow colostral immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration required for pooling to achieve adequate transfer of passive immunity in calves.

ANIMALS

201 Jersey cows.

METHODS

Colostrum was collected from 28 pools and heat treated before being fed to calves or stored. Parity, total number of cows contributing to the pool, individual cow colostral volume contributions, and total volume of each colostrum pool were recorded. Colostrum IgG concentrations in individual and pooled (pre- and post-heat treatment) samples were analyzed by radial immunodiffusion and Brix refractometry. Colostral IgG concentration of ≥ 50g/L was considered the current recommended dairy industry standard for acceptable colostrum quality. Multivariable models were performed to determine factors affecting pooled colostral IgG concentrations. The minimum colostral IgG concentration required for pooling to achieve the recommended total mass of at least 200g IgG to be fed to a calf was calculated.

RESULTS

Total pool volume and the number of cows contributing to the pool were significant factors affecting IgG concentration. Colostrum pools from ≤ 7 cows, with a minimum pool IgG concentration of 70.4 g/L (22.9% Brix) or colostrum pool volume ≤ 40 L, with a minimum pool IgG concentration of 66.2 g/L (21.8% Brix) achieved the recommended total mass of at least 200g IgG in 4L of colostrum.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

When feeding pooled colostrum, IgG concentrations higher than the industry standard of 50 g/L is recommended to reduce the risk of failure of transfer of passive immunity in calves.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association