The first 24 hours of a calf’s life are crucial when it comes to colostrum; this is the period of time when immunoglobulins are absorbed into the blood via the gut wall. From the moment of birth, and in a continual process, the pores of the gut wall are closing slowly. By the end of the first day of life, a calf will no longer be able to absorb immunoglobulins. It is therefore extremely important that calves have access to good quality colostrum from the moment they are born.
In addition to this, it is also essential that the calf feeds on colostrum made within the first 12 hours after calving. In the natural world, this is most often the case.
In some cases, a calf will be fed colostrum from a shop bought powder product. Here it is extremely important that this colostrum is taken within 12 hours after calving. This is shown by a protein amount of more than 70% and by an amount of immunoglobulins of more than 30%.