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 3. Birthing & Neonatal Care
 premature cria, no milk in Maiden Mom
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8 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2014 :  11:02:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit kmoskal's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If a cria is born premature, and it does not look like the mom has an udder yet, will they get colostrum if they nurse? I'm wondering how early the mom starts to make colostrum?

Sad to say I've never looked in a cria's mouth to see if they have teeth or not. Cria was very small for my farm, 9 lbs 3 oz, could stand, ears were up, no teeth yet. i do not think he was very much premature, but he was so tiny and mom did not have milk. He is 2 weeks old now and doing well; has gained 1 lb 8 oz. I did get a bottle of cow colostrum and gave him that, but did i need too? we also supplemented him every 2 hours for 2 days until the mom's milk came in.

Phew what a week that was. premature baby, 5 week old cria fractured her leg and a 2 leg dystosia which finally got corrected and came out!
Kathy Moskal
Chelsea, Michigan

Kathy Moskal
Criadero de Alpaca


469 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2014 :  4:27:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The short answer is maybe they will, maybe they won't.
Mom's first milk is always colostrum, but depending upon her health, genetics and when it comes in, it may be in sufficient quantity or it may not. Also if it comes in any later than the first 12 hours, the cria may not get enough of it in time before the pores in the stomach compartment that permit the antibodies to pass directly into the bloodstream close.

When in doubt, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and provide colostrum. Was the cow colostrum you provided the cria with, fresh or thawed/warmed colostrum, or was it a powder? If it was a powder, was it colostrum supplement or colostrum replacement. If it was powder and was supplement and not replacement it does very little to provide the beneficial antibodies the cria needs. A good practice is to have some frozen goat or cow colostrum on hand and ready to thaw out if needed. It can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer without much loss of potency. The other thing to remember, whether you are administering thawed or reconstituted powder colostrum is to warm it gradually in the bottle in a pot of hot but not boiling water. Do not heat it in the microwave and don't use straight boiling water, as the excessive temperature will ruin much of the beneficial ingredients of the colostrum.

Good luck!

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
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