A total of 30 dairy farms from around the North of Ireland are being sought after to participate in an “exciting new colostrum project”, funded by the Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre.
The project is being conducted by AgriSearch, who – in partnership with the AFBI (Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute), Queens University Belfast, Dale Farm and Devenish Nutrition – hope to recruit the suitable dairy candidates.
Bovine colostrum is rich in nutritional, antimicrobial and growth properties which are vital for the stimulation of immune defences in a newborn calf.
Good quality colostrum should contain at least 50g/L IgG (Immunoglobulin G) along with enough fat, protein, vitamin and mineral levels to support calf health and development, according to AgriSearch.
Recent research at the AFBI and elsewhere has shown major variation in colostrum immune and nutritional properties.
This change has in part been explained by a number of management and animal factors; however, to date, little or no research has investigated the type and level of other substances within colostrum and related these to management factors, according to AgriSearch.
This project aims to investigate the immune-activating properties exhibited by colostrum and how dairy cow management influences colostrum immune and nutritional components.
Farmers interested in taking part in the project can download an application form and information pack from the AgriSearch website.
Anyone with further queries is advised to contact Elizabeth Earle (AgriSearch) at: (+0044) 028-9268-1514 or Ruth Kinkead (AFBI) at: (+0044) 028-9268-1524.