Evaluation of Factors Affecting Colostrum Quality and Quantity in Holstein Dairy Cattle

Aikaterini Soufleri*, G Banos*, Nikolaos Panousis*, Dimitrios Fletouris, Georgios Arsenos*, A Kougiomtzis*, Georgios E. Valergakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The objective of this study was to conduct a large-scale investigation of colostrum composition and yield and an evaluation of factors affecting them. In this study, 1017 clinically healthy Holstein cows from 10 farms were used. The colostrum TS were measured using a digital Brix refractometer. Fat, protein and lactose content were determined using an infrared Milk Analyzer. Statistical analysis was conducted using a series of univariate general linear models. The mean (SD) percentage of colostrum fat, protein, lactose and TS content were 6.37 (3.33), 17.83 (3.97), 2.15 (0.73) and 25.80 (4.68), respectively. Parity had a significant positive effect on the protein and TS content and a negative one on fat content. The time interval between calving and colostrum collection had a significant negative effect on the fat, protein and TS contents and a positive one on lactose. Colostrum yield had a significant negative effect on the protein and TS content, and it was affected by all factors considered. In addition to TS, the evaluation of the colostrum fat content appears essential when neonates’ energy needs are considered. The Brix refractometer, an inexpensive and easy to use devise, can be used effectively in colostrum quality monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2005
Issue number7
Early online date5 Jul 2021
Publication statusFirst published - 5 Jul 2021


  • dairy cattle
  • factors
  • refractometer
  • colostrum composition


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