A survey of colostrum management practices on UK dairy farms

Denholm, K. , Baxter-Smith, K., Simpson, R. and Williams, P. (2023) A survey of colostrum management practices on UK dairy farms. Livestock, 28(4), pp. 150-159. (doi: 10.12968/live.2023.28.4.150)

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An online survey was sent to 248 dairy farms from all four UK nations. The results identified areas to optimise calf health and welfare, with a particular focus on extended colostrum feeding (beyond the first 24 hours of life). Chi squared analysis, Cochran Armitage trend tests and logistic regression were used to investigate biologically plausible associations between variables. Thematic analysis was used to construct and refine thematic maps. There was a significant linear trend between the frequency of blood sampling of calves to monitor serum IgG concentrations and testing of colostrum for IgG concentration (P<0.01). A number of farms (41.53%) pooled colostrum (without pasteurising), which may reduce overall IgG concentration and increase disease transmission risk. Timing of colostrum harvest (within 6 hours of calving) was suboptimal on some (23.39%) farms. Many of the perceived barriers to extended colostrum feeding were human and physical, including tangible commodities such as storage and facilities, labour and procedural issues.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Denholm, Mrs Katie
Authors: Denholm, K., Baxter-Smith, K., Simpson, R., and Williams, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Livestock
Publisher:Mark Allen Healthcare
ISSN (Online):2044-3870
Published Online:11 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 MA Healthcare Limited
First Published:First published in Livestock 28(4):150–159
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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