Saturday, April 27, 2013

Homemade Colostrum Recipe

I think it must have been around 4am last night when in my deepest of deep sleeps I suddenly bolted upright in bed and thought, "I need to blog about my colostrum recipe!" 

Is this sad or what? Even in my subconscious state, I'm still thinking about my writing. Hopeless, am I. But I think it might have had something to do with the fact that I was dreaming that Heidi kidded (why that goat was back here at GSF, I don't know...) and had thirteen goat kids. All at once. And I was panicking because I had no colostrum to feed thirteen newborn goats. Apparently I shouldn't eat chocolate chip cookies right before going to bed... They seem to give me funny dreams. Hehe. ;)

Strange dreams aside, I figured that since kidding/calving/lambing/what-have-you season is still going for some of us, y'all might find this recipe handy. I used this recipe with Sudden Distraction, and then again with Lyric since neither of their dams had colostrum. Lyric's dam, Jupiter, had a full udder at kidding time, but when I milked her out for the first time, I was surprised to see that it was milk and not colostrum!! No idea why she never had colostrum, but at that finding, I whipped out my ingredients and made some homemade colostrum for Lyric, and I'm happy to report that the little lady thrived in it.

So here you go! :)

Homemade Colostrum for animals:

  • 3 Cups milk (preferably raw and whole. In a pinch you can use storebought, but results may vary.)
  • 1 egg; lightly whipped
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, honey, or corn syrup. Whichever one you've got.
  • 1 teaspoon cod liver oil. This ingredient is somewhat optional... It's there to provide vitamin A, but I've never put it in my colostrum mix simply because I don't have any!! And so far my youngsters have done fine without the oil. (Warning: If you DO put cod liver oil in your colostrum mix, just know that your house is going to *reek*. And the smell sticks to skin... Ask me how I know this. Ugh.)
Put all the ingredients in a pot and slowly warm everything until the sweetener has dissolved. Then put in a glass jar, and store in the fridge. I wouldn't keep this stuff any longer than 1 week before starting a new batch.

One thing I like to add to my bottles, whether it's colostrum or milk, is Slippery Elm powder. For goats/lambs/puppies I put in 1 teaspoon of powder to each feeding (this is for standard size goat kids; if you have Dwarfs, then you might do a 1/2 tsp.). For calves I'll do 2-3 teaspoons (depending on size; jersey size calves get the lesser, holstein size calves get the larger). Slippery Elm stops all possibilities of scouring in its tracks. I've been in a position where I've had to switch milks on short notice with goat kids; suddenly going from raw goat milk, to milk replacer, to half goat milk - half store bought cow milk. It was erratic, and I feared the kids would scour and die on me. But it never happened. Their manure never even changed, since I was giving them slippery elm powder at every feeding. Elm powder is also high in nutrients and gives the animals dense bone structure, strong, shiny hair, and strengthens the nerves. I don't know about you, but I want my youngsters, whether they're goat kids or puppies, to have all that!

P.S. Just in case you're wondering if this recipe is legit or not, I would encourage you to Google it; you'll find the same recipe on many websites, and I've even seen it in a few livestock books. I didn't make it up, if that makes you feel any better. ;)


Lindsay Hermanson said...

Thanks for this, I'm getting lambs soon and hoping they have already had their colostrum but you never know. How often would you give this and for how long?

Goat Song said...

Congrats on the lambs!!! :D

I would feed straight colostrum for the first 2-3 days, and then work on switching over to milk after that. And I would just feed it in place of their usual milk feed. So if they're being bottle fed twice a day, then just feed the colostrum 2x's a day. If you're switching them over to the colostrum for a few days, do keep a close eye out for scours if you're not adding in any slippery elm powder.

oukay said...

Please keep in mind that this will not provide for any passive immunity. The dam's colostrum is best - understandably, though, it might not always be available.

Goat Song said...

Correct Oukay; but sometimes there is no colostrum available at all, such as was my case, twice now this year.

Kim said...

I don't have goats yet but I am saving this recipe for just in case!

liz morgan said...

used your recipe for 1st time this year. Seems to have worked! But how do you get the slippery elm powder to blend with the mixture? Do you mix it with a little milk into a paste first and then add?

sarah lee said...

I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.

julia pryke said...

Can this recipe be given to them at a week old. Just adopted two babies who were starved for their first 24 hours and our neighbours did nothing about it. I took them on and made a mix of cow milk and chamomile. They eat but are still very weak, I am so worried that not receiving colestrum and being starved will have had fatal results but a week on they are still giving it their best. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (Forgot to mention the mother got bitten on the udder by a dog the year before and developed mastitis.

Joseph Origho said...

Colostrum is to be given within the first 2 or at Most 3 days...

Tiffanie Jenkins said...

Could you use molasses for the sweetener?