Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Maternal antibodies play a major role in the development of the immune system of a young animal. Ideally, the transmission of maternal immunity to the foetus occurs in the uterus. However, in ruminants, as there is no maternal antibody transfer from the mother to her young by way of the uterus, the antibodies present in the colostrum are a vital necessity for newborn ruminants. After birth, an unhealthy neonatal period for the young animal and an unhealthy puerperal period for the mother can cause significant financial losses. In animal husbandry, due to the budget allocated for the treatment of diseases and the economic damage of breeding that can be caused by lasting problems created by disease, the importance given to preventive medicine has increased further. Therefore, in breeding, increasing the resistance against the disease agent is preferred instead of treating disease. This situation has resulted in more studies to improve the level of maternal and colostral antibodies as well as the widespread use of specific and nonspecific immunostimulants in veterinary medicine. In this review, the factors affecting the quality of ewe colostrum are discussed and the importance of colostrum quality for a newborn lamb is described. In addition, the methods used today to increase the quality of colostrum are presented.


Ewe, newborn lamb, colostrum, immunostimulation

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