Dairy Goats 

Rags on the Fence

How We Heat Treat Colostrum

Posted on December 29, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Almost all of the kids born here are raised on CAE prevention, which means they are taken away from their dam at birth and bottle fed heat treated colostrum and pastuerized milk. They are usually raised apart from adult does until at least weaning, and usually longer. (Exceptions are our Boer herd and occassionally dairy goats whose new owners want them to dam raise.)

We are frequently asked how to heat treat colostrum- this is the method that works best for us. 

    1. Use a good, solid thermos that holds heat well. To test the thermos: fill it with very hot tap water and cap it while you are heating more water to 140 degees. When your water has reached 140 degrees, pour the hot water out of the thermos, pour in the heated water, cap the thermos, wrap in a blanket and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour (set a timer!) At the end of 1 hour, use two thermometers to check the temperature of the water in the thermos- it needs to be over 135 degrees after an hour. I always retest my thermos before the first batch of colostrum every year- I once had a thermos stop holding temperature, so this is a good practice.
    2. Fill your thermos with water and then pour into a measuring cup to figure out how much colostrum you can process at one time. We have done two thermos at one time...but it was hard to pour quickly enough to not lose too much heat. It didn't work for us. 
    3. Measure out the amount of colostrum you will be processing and start it heating in the top of a double boiler. Here is a tip on how to make your own- Homemade Double Boiler In A Pinch
    4. Add hot tap water to your thermos, cap it, and set it next to your sink.
    5. Heat your colostrum to 136-139 degrees, stirring constantly. Colostrum will stick and turn into pudding very quickly, it must be babied!
    6. When your colostrum reaches temperature, remove it from the heat, dump out your thermos and pour the heated colostrum into the preheated thermos. You have to hustle for this step! We have learned that we need to heat the colostrum closer to 140 degrees to have it still over 135 by the time we get this done- especially if one of us is doing the process solo.
    7. Cap & wrap it! We wrap the filled thermos in a blanket and put it on a corner of the couch. Set the timer for an hour...and if you are sleep deprived from kidding watch, I suggest you use a loud timer and put a sticky note on it to tell you why you set the darn thing! 
    8. After an hour, test the temperature, once more with two thermometers, to be sure the colostrum is still over 135 degrees. If it is- congratulations, you have heat treated colostrum! If not...go back and start over again... Sorry!
We store our heat treated colostrum in  serving sized soda bottles in the freezer. Then all we have to do is pop one into a hot water bath to thaw and it is ready to feed to kids once it is heated to 102 degrees. We do use 32 oz botttles also- first feedings for 4 kids. Each of our kids gets 16-20 ounces of colostrum in the first 24 hours- experts recommend at least 10% of body weight. 

There are certainly other ways to heat treat- using a Weck, a home pasteurizer with a low temperature setting, and a rice cooker are three that come to mind, but this method is tried and true here. Happy kiddings!


Categories: Goat Ramblings

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