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This week's Image of the Week is a colostrometer. The image's description reads:
This colostrometer is a hydrometer designed to measure the specific gravity of colostrum. The scale is calibrated in milligrams of immunoglobulins (IgG) per milliliter (mg/mL) of colostrum. Readings of 50 to 140 mg/mL are superior, while readings below 20 mg/mL are unacceptable. Since calves are born with little innate protection against infectious agents, for several weeks after birth, they depend upon passive immunization from colostrum IgG absorbed through the gut. Colostrum must be given to the calf as soon as possible after birth, because absorption of IgG declines rapidly during the first 6 to 12 hours after birth. As the quantity of IgG in colostrum varies greatly among cows, a colostrometer permits one to select colostrum with high IgG to be frozen and thawed when needed for a calf from a cow with low colostrum IgG. In the same way, new-born calves may be fed colostrum from cows known to be free of infectious agents that may be transmitted through milk such as Johne's disease, leukosis, BVD or mycoplasma.
Credit: Hoard's Dairyman
Digital Credit: Michel Wattiaux