Give new-born calf colostrum

Producer Question from 2015

Q.  When should you consider giving a new-born calf colostrum? (March 10, 2015)

If you answer "Yes" to any of the following scenarios, supplement the new-born calf with colostrum.

  1. The calf is too weak to suckle after being born.
  2. The calf's mother has abandoned the calf or refused to let the calf suckle soon after birth.
  3. The calf is exposed to weather that interfered with the calf's opportunity/ability to suckle soon after birth. Calf experiences hypothermia and was taken away from the dam and moved to a warming box or warming room.
  4. The calf has experienced a difficult birth – even if it is not weak and can stand.

Dr. Richard Randle has recorded a brief presentation titled "Care of the Newborn Calf Colostrum Management" that further addresses this question.

Rick Rasby
Beef Specialist – University of Nebraska