Colostral immunoglobulin concentrations in Holstein and Guernsey cows

Jeff W. Tyler, Barry J. Steevens, Douglas E. Hostetler, Julie M. Holle, John L. Denbigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Objective - To compare the concentration of IgG in colostrum between Holstein and Guernsey cows and among cows of various lactations. Design - Cross-sectional cohort study. Sample Population - Colostrum samples from 77 Holstein and 24 Guernsey cows. Procedure - Colostrum samples were obtained from 101 cows. Colostral IgG concentration was determined, using a radial immunodiffusion assay. Regression analysis was used to determine the effect of breed and lactation number on colostral IgG concentration. Survival analysis and t-tests were used to compare the proportion of colostrum samples that would provide 100 g of IgG for various volumes of colostral intake. Results - Guernsey cows produced 36.4 g of IgG/L of colostrum more than that of Holstein cows. Cows in the third or greater lactation produced 19.5 g of IgG/L of colostrum more than that of first-lactation cows. The IgG concentration of colostrum produced by second-lactation cows did not differ significantly from that produced by first-lactation cows. The colostral IgG concentration of these Holstein and Guernsey cows was higher than values that have been reported elsewhere. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Volume of colostrum needed to meet IgG intake goals is probably lower for Guernsey cows than Holstein cows. Colostrum from first-lactation cows was adequate in IgG content. The practice of discarding colostrum from first-lactation cows on the basis of inadequate IgG content was not justified in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1139
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Colostral immunoglobulin concentrations in Holstein and Guernsey cows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this