SAALFELD, Mara Helena et al. Anaerobically fermented colostrum: an alternative for feeding calves. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2013, vol.43, n.9, pp. 1636-1641. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782013000900016.
Colostrum fermented silage is an viable alternative to the nutrition of calves
Researchers from EMATER Pelotas and Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, verified that colostrum fermented silage retains its nutritional properties and can substitute milk for feeding calves. The study was published in Ciência Rural journal, v.43, n.9, of September 2013.
In the experiment of the study, researchers evaluated the microbiological and physical-chemical properties of colostrums silage and its utilization in the nutrition of 31 calves of up to 60 days old. In physical-chemical analysis, the researchers monitored silage for 360 days, performing an initial collection of bacteria and another collection 360 days after the first collection.
The survey results showed that bacteria such as Lactobacillus spp., Staphylococcus spp., Escherichia spp. Klebsiella spp. and Bacillus spp. isolated from fresh colostrum, were detected in silage colostrum until 14 days of storage. From 21 days of fermentation, it was observed that only bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus spp. (probiotics likely) remained viable until the end of the analysis period (360 days), suggesting that these bacteria are responsible for the fermentation of colostrum.
As researcher Daniela Isabel Pereira Brayer explains, the absence of contaminating microorganisms from the 14 days of the experiment makes silage colostrum safe for use in feeding of newborn animals. Additionally, other data confirm the maintenance of protein, dry matter and fat in silage liquid diet applied to the calves. These have gained greater weight compared to animals fed with milk.
In practice, the results point silage colostrum as a cheap and efficient for feeding calves. "The production of silage colostrum can be prepared by farmers themselves and it can be stored for years without any changes in its microbiological and physical-chemical properties," says the researcher.
Other studies in the area have used freezing and acidification techniques which required products and equipment that increased the cost of silage production. This study differs by using fermented colostrum, which lowers their production and thus makes it available to any producer.