Monday, November 5, 2012

Cow colostrum suitable for lambs

Greek researchers investigated the efficacy of feeding cow colostrum to newborn lambs. Seventy-two newborn lambs were used in the study. They were divided into six groups.

Groups 1-3 received four meals of 1st or 2nd or unknown milking cow colostrum (UMCC). Group 4 received 6 ml of a commercial cow colostrum and two meals of UMCC. Group 5 received 4 meals of ewe colostrum. Group 6 lambs were allowed to nurse their dams.

Blood samples were collected at 24 hours and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week after birth. Total proteins and albumin concentrations and γ-Glutamyl-Transferase activity (γ-GT) were determined.

Significant differences among groups were observed at 24 hours after birth for all parameters. Differences in total globulins and γ-GT were non-detectable at 4 weeks. At 4th week of age, no differences were detected in almost all parameters measured between lambs that received artificially ewe or cow colostrum.

The researchers concluded that cow colostrum could be a good replacer of ewe colostrum as concerns passive immunity in cases where ewe colostrum physically cannot or it is not advisable to be used.

Source:  Short Communication, Livestock Production Science, November 2012.

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