Be part of #ColostrumIsGold this February

We're raising awareness that feeding the right quantity of colostrum, of the right quality, quickly enough after birth, reduces the chances of new-born animals needing antibiotic treatments at any point in their lives. Find out how to support #ColostrumIsGold by reading on...

Why #ColostrumIsGold

Colostrum, or first milk from cows, sheep or pigs, is chock-full of antibodies, energy and essential nutrients that can benefit the new-born animal – if fed during a narrow window after birth.

Receiving adequate colostrum, quickly enough, could virtually eliminate Watery Mouth E. Coli infection in lambs without need for antibiotic treatments. It could more than halve cases of pneumonia in calves. And it could improve the survival rate in new-born pigs, up to weaning age and beyond.

But at busy times of year, we don’t always have time or resources to make sure every animal gets enough colostrum, or gets it quickly enough. That’s why the RUMA Alliance, which ensures farm animal medicines are used responsibly in the UK, has created this campaign.


What are the recommendations for feeding Colostrum?

Calves: Give a first feed of 4 litres or 10% of bodyweight within 4 or preferably 2 hours of birth; this should then be followed up by a further 2 litres within 12 hours of birth. A calf requires approximately 20 minutes of continuous suckling to consume enough colostrum from the cow at the first feed. Good quality cow colostrum has immunoglobulin (IgG) levels of greater than 50mg/ml.

Lambs: Rule of thumb is 210–290 ml/kg body weight, so a 5kg lamb at birth needs 1 litre of colostrum in its first 24 hours of life to give it essential levels of natural immunity. But importantly, the first feed should be within 2 hours of birth.

Pigs: New-born pigs should suckle within 30 minutes of birth to meet energy requirements, and consume over 200ml of colostrum in total in the first 24 hours, but preferably nearer 290ml.


Why in February?

Some farms have farrowing and calving year-round, some calve in the autumn, and others run out-of-season lambing. But February is peak calving for spring calving dairy herds, the start of the main lambing season, and precedes the busiest time for calving in suckler beef herds. This makes it a great time to talk colostrum.


Supporting #ColostrumIsGold

Let us and others know how you’re lending your voice to #ColostrumIsGold this February. Support our campaign by telling us in the form below:

Your message will appear on our RUMA and FarmAntibiotics websites. And you will be able to share it on social media.


Get ideas and inspiration

If you need more information, facts, scientific papers, case studies or helpful videos and podcasts on managing colostrum better, visit where there is a bank of useful resources and ideas to get you started.

Who is already supporting #ColostrumIsGold?

National Sheep Association

NSA is proud to support the #colostrumisgold campaign. There can be no better start to a newborn lambs life than adequate consumption of colostrum, particularly in the first 24 hours of life. We look forward to sharing this important message throughout the campaign.


Support #ColostrumIsGold

Please select whether you are an Individual or an Organisation.


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By posting your message of support, you will be sharing how you plan to make Colostrum Gold this February.

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By posting your message of support, you will be sharing how your organisation plans to make Colostrum Gold this February.


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