A significant drop in colostrum yield is a commonly reported challenge in the fall, according to Noah Litherland, dairy youngstock technical specialist with Vita Plus Corporation.

Litherland said researchers have not yet been able to pinpoint the reason why colostrum yields tend to drop in late October into November. When he studied the issue as a researcher at the University of Minnesota, he concluded that the phenomenon is not affected by changing dietary starch levels, protein levels or negative-DCAD transition diets.

They did find, however, that cows producing lower colostrum yields also had lower incidence of ketosis and fatty liver in the fresh period. Colostrum quality was unaffected by yield changes.

Litherland speculated that lower colostrum yield may be tied to seasonal changes in photoperiod or environmental temperature, but that more research on the subject is needed.

To listen to Litherland’s discussion of low colostrum yields on “Calf Chat with Noah” from Vita Plus, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ8faBDKC00&feature=youtu.be

Source: Vita Plus Starting Strong newsletter