Collecting Colostrum From Mares

How can you collect colostrum and save it for future use, and how long can you keep it? A veterinarian weighs in.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Colostrum
Colostrum and its protective antibodies are present in the mare's milk for only the first day after foaling; these maternal antibodies are necessary to protect the foal against infectious diseases. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Q.How can I collect colostrum from a mare and save it for future use, and how long can I keep it?

—Ashley, via e-mail

A.Colostrum or “first milk” is the thick, yellow secretion from the mammary gland that’s present immediately after birth. Produced in the mare’s udder during the last two to four weeks of gestation in response to hormonal changes, colostrum contains concentrated immunoglobulins (antibodies) from the mare’s serum. Colostrum and its protective antibodies are present in the mare’s milk for only the first day after foaling; these maternal antibodies are necessary to protect the foal against infectious diseases. The best-quality colostrum is produced in the first eight hours post-foaling. Ideally, the foal will receive at least two pints of mare’s milk within the first 12 hours of its life

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Fairfield T. Bain, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVP, specializes in internal medicine and pathology. He is an equine technical services veterinarian at Merck Animal Health.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
158 votes · 307 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!