Colostrum, or what it is most commonly known as ‘beestings’, is the first milk

that a cow produces after she gives birth. This is the liquid gold to a calf, as they rely on the passive absorption of 150 to 200g of colostral immunoglobulins (Ig) within the first few hours after birth to provide protection against infectious diseases early in life.

Despite its health and nutritional benefits for the calf, colostrum is a potential early source of exposure to microbial pathogens. These help to maintain overall good calf health and ultimately reduce mortality rates by assisting to eliminate bacteria and viruses to which the calf can be exposed to.

Colostrum is a concentrated source of nutrients and energy, containing elements of fats, proteins, vitamins, and lactose. All these combined gives the calf the best start to life but only when consumed in appropriate measures. If you have a calf that is struggling to suckle, it can be caused by various reasons:

  • They may be too weak
  • They might be abandoned by the cow
  • The calf may have had a difficult birth
  • The cow may not have sufficient levels of colostrum available.

In these instances, you need to introduce either previously stored colostrum that was frozen or refrigerated which can be bottle fed or stomach tubed. Or you can use an alternative supplement such as Auctus’ Calf Guardian feed paste or Calf Superstart colostrum mix. Both contain chelated trace elements, minerals, vitamins, and prebiotics, enhancing the immune system for efficient absorption of the micronutrients.

Storing Colostrum

If storing colostrum, refrigerate or freeze it as quickly as possible to prevent bacterial proliferation. If refrigerating, ensure to feed it within two days of harvesting. Freezing colostrum can be kept healthy for much longer periods and used then when needed.

For further advice on any of the above, please contact a member of the Moocall team to speak to some of our breeding specialists on +353 1 96 96 038 or email