A reliable and objective measure of the immunoglobulin/antibody content of colostrum has been launched by Dairy Spares.
The Brix refractometer determines whether colostrum is of a suitable quality for a first feed to new-born calves, as well as for freezing for future use.
Simple and convenient to use, a small sample of colostrum is placed onto the slide area and the refractometer can then be held up to natural light for a reading to be taken.
A Brix reading of 22% correlates to 50g per litre of immunoglobulins/antibodies – the accepted minimum quality of colostrum required. A 40-kilogramme calf will require four litres of this colostrum within the first four hours of life.
Unlike colostrometer readings, which are based on the measurement of specific gravity, refractometer readings are based on light refraction and are, therefore, unaffected by temperature, frothiness, or the total solids content of the colostrum.
Brix refractometers require calibrating with distilled water before use and after use the slide needs to be cleaned with a clean cloth, before the refractometer is returned to its box.
With its simple compact design, a refractometer is not only robust for on-farm use, but also much easier to use and clean than a colostrometer.
The refractometer retails at £32.99 plus VAT.