The objectives were to describe the effect of on-farm commercial batch pasteurization on immunoglobulin (IgG) concentrations and the fluid and feeding characteristics of colostrum and to compare serum IgG concentrations in calves fed fresh versus pasteurized colostrum. Newborn calves (123) were systematically allocated to dietary treatments of either fresh or pasteurized colostrum at both the first and second colostrum feedings. The IgG concentrations were measured for batches of colostrum fed fresh and in pre and post-pasteurized samples for batches of colostrum fed after being pasteurized and in calf serum. Pasteurization reduced colostrum IgG concentration, with the percentage reduction averaging 58.5 and 23.6% for 95-L and 57-L batches, respectively. Pasteurizing high quality colostrum in 57-L (vs. 95-L) batches resulted in higher IgG concentrations in the end product. Pasteurization of 57-L batches produced colostrum of normal or only mildly thickened consistency that could be fed to calves. Serum IgG concentrations were higher for calves fed fresh colostrum and for calves with a shorter time interval (≤ 6h) between first and second colostrum feedings. After controlling for the time interval between feedings, serum IgG concentrations were significantly higher for 40 calves fed unpasteurized (19.1 mg/ml) vs. 55 calves fed pasteurized colostrum (9.7 mg/ml) for calves fed 2 L at first feeding. By contrast, there was no difference in serum IgG concentrations between 8 calves fed unpasteurized (16.1 mg/ml) and 20 calves fed pasteurized colostrum (13.5 mg/ml) after calves were fed 4 L at the first feeding. While the latter results suggest that pasteurizing colostrum may work for producers with excellent colostrum management, these results are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution, given the fewer number of calves and batches of colostrum involved with this second comparison.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Department of Clinical and Population Sciences , College of Veterinary Medicine , University of Minnesota . The authors would like to thank Cindy Hirota, Colorado Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, Colorado State University, for her assistance in analyzing samples and the transferring of data. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Norm Dinis and employees of Empire Dairy, Wiggins, CO, for assisting with the completion of this study.