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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Sep;96(9):5919-22. doi: 10.3168/jds.2013-6745. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Short communication: Fractional milking distribution of immunoglobulin G and other constituents in colostrum.

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Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern 2012, Switzerland.


The provision of quality colostrum with a high concentration of immunoglobulins is critical for newborn calf health. Because first colostrum may be low in overall concentration to effectively reduce the risk of newborn infections, we tested equivalent milking fractions of colostrum for possible IgG differences. The objective of this study was to determine if the fractional composition of colostrum changes during the course of milking with a focus on immunoglobulins. Twenty-four Holstein and Simmental cows were milked (first colostrum) within 4h after calving. The colostrum of 1 gland per animal was assembled into 4 percentage fractions over the course of milking: 0 to 25%, 25 to 50%, 50 to 75%, and 75 to 100%. The IgG concentration among the various fractions did not change in any significant pattern. Concentration of protein, casein, lactose and somatic cell count remained the same or exhibited only minor changes during the course of fractional milking colostrum. We determined that no benefit exists in feeding any particular fraction of colostrum to the newborn.


colostrum; fraction; immunoglobulin G

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