There are several colostrum management systems that are used in the dairy industry today. Luciene Ribeiro (Director of Sales West APC, Inc. ) has written an article on the website of Progressive Dairyman on this subject. In this article she mentions four different systems that can be used. From very straight forward like the “collect and freeze” method to the more complicated “collect and pasteurize” method.
No matter what system is used, the results are dependent on the accurate use of the system. Fortunately more farmers than ever before recognize that this is very important for their future dairy cows.
What dairy farmers should know is that not only they will benefit from it. Veal producers will be grateful when they receive calves from farmers who manage their colostrum system well. Their problems with diseases, like for instance calf scours, will be much less. Believe me, I know. I have produced veal myself for many years and I could tell which calves had received enough quality colostrum and which had not.
The benefits to the veal producers go beyond reducing the risk of diseases. Their calves will have a head start at the beginning and will grow faster and cheaper into slaughter mature veal calves.
The small investment of paying some extra time and thought on the proper use of colostrum always pays off. Since I was born and raised on a dairy farm I now have the unique perspective that I know both how a veal producer and a dairy farmer sees those things. There are a lot of things a farmer can do to improve the health of their calves. A proper executed colostrum management system is one of them.
Sometimes I hear both dairy farmers and veal producers complain. The dairy farmers complain that they don’t get enough money for their calves and yet the demands of the veal producers tend to get even stricter. The veal producers on the other hand complain when they receive too small and or not healthy calves.
In my opinion both parties should have a financial incentive in order to overcome their differences. If a dairy farmer delivers a healthy calf that will grow into a healthy slaughter mature veal calf, the veal producer should give the dairy farmer a bonus. This bonus should only be paid if the dairy farmer continues to deliver healthy calves. The bonus could be paid , for instance, a year after the first delivery.
It is just a thought from my side. In this scenario three parties will win. One, the dairy farmer, who gets a better income for just a little extra work. Two, the veal producer, who will have less problems and more income. And last, but not least number three the calves, because they will have a healthier live.
If you want to have more information on the proper use of colostrum on your farm, click here.