How to enrich maternal colostrum for calves


It’s a global standard that every calf needs a minimum of 100g IgG in the first feed.

To ensure IgG content of maternal colostrum is adequate, we recommend a Brix refractometer test which will show you the milk solid (MS) %.

It is internationally accepted that if maternal colostrum measures 22%MS with a Brix refractometer, then the IgG content will be approximately 50g/L.

To achieve 100g IgG transfer (the minimum IgG requirement for passive transfer of immunity to occur), each calf should be fed a minimum of 2L of colostrum measuring no less than 22%MS (50g/L IgG) in their first feed.

When the quality of maternal colostrum is questionable, Launchpad18 whole colostrum powder can be used to enrich it.

The following maternal colostrum enrichment table shows the amount of Launchpad18 colostrum powder to add to increase MS%.

Please note:

  1. The maternal colostrum enrichment table applies to the first 2L colostrum feed only.
  2. This practice should be followed regardless of whether the calf had a feed directly from it’s mother prior to collection.
  3. Calves must be fed another 2L of maternal colostrum within 12 hours of the first feed.

Maternal colostrum enrichment table

To achieve the targeted 22% MS for the first 2L feed of colostrum, you can add Launchpad18 colostrum powder (g/2L colostrum) as follows:

Maternal colostrum enrichment

Note: a Brix refractometer test shows milk solid %, so is a guide only.

Mixing instructions:

  • Accurately measure recommended amounts of Launchpad18 colostrum powder with an accurate small scale.
  • Using water at 43-46ᵒC water (hotter than this can damage antibodies), mix Launchpad18 powder into a paste prior to adding to maternal colostrum.
  • Mix Launchpad18 with maternal colostrum using a whisk, handheld electric mixer, or mixing vessel. Some small lumps may remain in the mixture; this will not affect the performance of the product.
  • Launchpad18 colostrum powder can also be added directly to maternal colostrum (ie without mixing into a paste) but mixing may not be as effective.