A Brief Review of the Developmental Role of Colostrum in Neonates

Published on: 08/26/2013
Author/s : M.E. Van Amburgh and D. J. Lopez (Cornell University)

Introduction The role of colostrum in supplying immunoglobulins (Ig's) to the neonatal calf have been well described and efficient and timely delivery is an essential component of any dairy management standard operating procedure (Godden, 2008). The primary reason colostrum has been of such interest in neonatal ruminants is due to the need to supply the Ig's because calves are born agammaglobuli...

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M Subhan Qureshi M Subhan Qureshi
Professor and Dean FAHVS, University of Agriculture, Peshawar-25120, Pakistan; Chief Organizer, Dairy Science Park
August 26, 2013

This article provides interesting information on calf survival and management, using colostrum feeding strategies. Under the peri urban dairy farming system, dominated by Nili Ravi buffaloes in Pakistan, the farmers are facing huge losses due to calf mortality. A major factor has been non interest of these farmers in re-breeding of a lactating cow due to consumption of milk for calf feeding instead of selling it for cash generation. The cost of farming in the peri urban regions is comparatively higher than the rural regions. Another taboo is the fear of farmers for post-conception decline in milk yield; however, our group has reported prevention of this decline through proper feeding and reproductive management strategies.

Consideration of buffalo calves as a source of beef for local production and export has been a recent development. Keeping calves of an appropriate age for fattening purpose has been a practice under various development projects. The higher mortality of calves in buffalo calves has been a result of unhygienic conditions prevailing at the farm coupled with lack of colostrum feeding which may lead to weaker immunity as this article reports. Lack of interest of the owner to raise the calf for production under peri urban buffalo dairying is another causative factor. Removing these barriers and shifting the calves from peri urban to the rural holdings would hopefully result in higher survival of buffalo calves and their utilization for beef production, replacement lactating buffaloes and breeding bulls. This may help in alleviating poverty through generation of self employment in the rural youth.

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