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Choosing the Best Colostrum for Calves 

4 minute read

Choosing the best colostrum for calves is critical to their success and your bottom line. Calves are born without immunity, and need colostrum to help protect them as they develop their own immune system over the first few weeks of life. Colostrum will influence calf health, immunity and growth – all early indicators and factors in determining lifetime performance potential. 

Colostrum Determines Calf Health

The colostrum you use directly determines the future success of your herd, making it a choice that carries more weight than we often realize. If calves have an issue with colostrum and are unable to establish immunity, they spend the rest of their lives trying to catch up and performing below potential. 

With so many colostrum options available, differentiating between them and choosing the option that establishes the most immunity can be an overwhelming decision. What factors are important to evaluate? What makeup of whey, casein and fat is optimal for rapidly establishing immunity? How much colostrum immunoglobulins are needed? Choosing a colostrum that can successfully deliver IgGs within the calf’s first few hours of life will make or break the ability of your heifer calves to develop into productive cows. 

Quickly Establish Immunity with Concentrated Colostrum IgGs

To develop top performing cows, delivering the highest concentration of colostrum IgGs is your solution. Look for options with the non-immune components – fat and casein – removed. Calves are born with enough fat and glycogen stores to sustain them through the first 24 to 48 hours of life, so these components are not needed at the first feeding. In fact, fat and casein can actually prevent essential immune components from being delivered immediately to the small intestine and require more of the calf’s energy and time to separate them out internally. When fat and casein are included: 

  • Curd formation occurring in the calf’s digestive system takes time and delays IgG release into the small intestine 
  • Some whey and IgG fail to be separated from the fat and casein and remain unavailable for absorption in the small intestine 
  • Some non-IgG proteins escape to the small intestine and compete with IgGs for absorption because the process is non-selective, meaning the animal is absorbing any protein, not just the IgG proteins 

The best colostrum for calves has the nutrient-dense whey and IgG components readily available to the calf’s small intestine resulting in greater absorption, immunity and inflammatory responses. 

Zinpro® Premolac® colostrum enables you to embrace those immune components and offers the flexibility to be used as a colostrum replacer or supplement based on your operation’s goals. Made with Zinpro® PathWhey℠ technology, this 100% Grade A bovine colostrum is separated into whey and immune components to deliver: 

  • 98% successful transfer rate 
  • 75% less mortality 

Heifer calves are the foundation of your herd’s future. Positioning them with the best colostrum and health on day one directly influences how productive and profitable they can be. Passive immunity supports lifelong herd productivity and your bottom line, and has been proven to drive: 

  • 5% more calves surviving the first two months of life 
  • $10 less spend on veterinary cost per calf over first 75 days 
  • 16% more calves survive to complete two lactations 
  • 2,600 more pounds of milk through first 2 lactations 
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Partner with Zinpro® to Improve Your Colostrum Strategy

Deliver the most concentrated IgGs for healthier calves that grow into long-term productive cows. Connect with a rep to see how Zinpro Premolac colostrum can boost your calf nutrition plan.