WHY COLOSTRUM IS CRITICAL
Newborns are born with no immunity, and it takes two to three weeks to develop.
During that time, a newborn’s defense against bacteria/infection lies in the Passive Immunity Transfer (PIT) of immunoglobulins (a group of proteins with active antibodies) it receives from maternal colostrum.
Maternal colostrum is the first milk produced after birth. It is high in protein, immunoglobulins, and antibacterials.
For example, by the time a calf is 12 hours old, its ability to absorb those precious antibodies through
PIT has fallen to 20%. At 24 hours old, that percentage has dropped to just 5%.
The quality of maternal colostrum varies, and if it doesn’t include enough immunoglobulins, newborns will not achieve PIT. One third of calves left to suckle from their dams naturally will not achieve PIT.
Failure to achieve PIT is a sure-fire way to have more sick newborns, and higher mortality rates.
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