Provita visited the farm and assessed all aspects of current calf health management finding that hygiene was good, cows were vaccinated and calves were getting plenty of colostrum soon after birth. Colostrum quality was assessed and found to be variable but acceptable in most cases. Provita’s Tommy Armstrong therefore concluded that the colostrum hygiene should be tested. Results showed that the colostrum itself was too high in bacteria and it represented a hygiene risk to the calves. At best, the colostrum antibodies were being used up fighting the bacteria it was introducing itself! Indeed a recent survey in Northern Ireland by AFBI reported that some colostrum contained up to 17,000,000 cfu/ml of bacteria. Provita in-house testing shows that both leaving colostrum at ambient temperature and thawing it out after freezing stimulates bacterial growth.