Feeding Sour Colostrum???

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I've been feeding my calves sour (fermented) colostrum and have had dramatically decreased scours and high grain intake. These heifers have been proving themselves well in the parlor, averaging 77.8 lbs per day on their first lactations, partially due to exceptional breeding. I've heard from some local farmers that sour colostrum disrupts a calves digestive system. I was just wondering if anyone else knows anything about feeding calves sour colostrum, positives and negatives.


-- Suzanne (hugging_calves@yahoo.com), December 30, 2000


The sour colustrum works well for us, as well as a close dairy farmer friend of ours. Also, some time ago I stumbled into a website for the University of Oklahoma where they were lauding the stuff as being extremely beneficial for calves, especially stressed ones. I do keep some frozen, but mostly so I have some handy in an emergency or if my soured cheesy colostrum grows too much mold to just scrape off, especially during the hot summer - it can go bad you know. I would think that if you feed a calf mold infested colostrum you are going to do more then just disrupt it's digestive system. Of course the colostrum in the milk helps a calf's immune system by giving it antibodies - the same reason that breastfeeding is so beneficial for a human baby.

On the other hand for a sickly, off feed start or adult cow that appears to have lost it's cud - you can steal the cud from a healthy cow and introduce it into the sick cow's back jaw - it passes on the beneficial bacteria they need. I cannot stress how very careful you must be when doing this because you could lose a finger.

Keep in mind that pigs love sour colostrum and they sure do get fat on the stuff.

-- Anne Tower (bbill@wtvl.net), December 30, 2000.

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