US – About 77% of refrigerated colostrum contains such a high bacteria count, that it can make the calves sick. This is stated by Attica Veterinary Associates who based this conclusion on research done in the United States. When colostrum contains more than 100,000cfu/ml it can make the calves sick. Cfu stands for colony forming units. The researchers found that only 23% of the refrigerated colostrum samples had a bacteria count lower than this. Of the fresh samples, 67% stayed under 100,000cfu/ml. It is therefore concluded that the bacteria are grown during the storage of the colostrum.
The researchers therefore advice to feed the colostrum roughly within one-half hour after it is collected the bacteria will not yet have had time to replicate. Colostrum that is not fed directly needs to be refrigerated as quickly as possible. One choice is to put the colostrum bottle/container (around 2 litre bottles) in an ice water bath. The temperature of the colostrum will then drop to 15 degrees Celsius within half an hour. It can then be stored further in the fridge.