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COLOSTRUM FOR NEWBORN FOALS – IT'S MORE THAN “JUST MILK”

Just like human babies, newborn foals are born with no immunity to disease. This puts foals at high risk of picking up organisms from other horses or the environment that could result in serious (sometimes even fatal) infections. Colostrum is the first milk that a newborn foal consumes and is rich in antibodies from its mother. These antibodies help protect the foal during the critical early period of life until the foal's immune system is ready to take over and the foal can receive vaccinations.

In this section, learn more about protecting your newborn foal's health, including:

  • What is colostrum
  • Why colostrum needs to be consumed in the first 24 hours of life
  • The importance of high-quality colostrum.


References:

  1. Bain FT.  Collecting colostrum.  AAEP: http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=144
  2. Burns T.  Colostrum.  In: Current Therapy in Equine Reproduction.  Samper JC, Pycock JF, McKinnon AO, eds.  2007, p 452-453.
  3. Davis E.  Maintaining health in foals: the importance of colostrum constituents.  Veterinary Record 2012 (170) p 49-50.
  4. Wilson DW, Pusterla N.  Immunoprophylaxis. In: Equine Infectious Diseases.  Sellon DC, Long ML, eds.  2007, p 556-577.
  5. Salamon RV, et al.  Composition of mare's colostrums and milk I. Fat content, fatty acid composition and vitamin contents.   Acta Univ. Sapientiae, Alimentaria, 2, 1 (2009) 119-131.
  6. Sanchez LC.  Neonatal septicemia In: In: Equine Infectious Diseases. Sellon DC, Long ML, eds.  2007, p 70-78.
  7. Watson JL.  Assays for evolution of transfer of passive immunity.  In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine 6. Robinson NE, Sprayberry KA eds.  2009, p 860-861.
  8. Watt B, Wright B.  Info sheet: The Importance of Colostrum to Foals and Passive Transfer Assessment.  April 2008:  http://www.equineguelph.ca/pdf/facts/Importance%20of%20Colostrum%20to%20Foals%20Apr_08.pdf