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Thread: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

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    Senior Member fergieman's Avatar
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    Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    What do you use and how do you defrost it?

    We use 2 litre plastic milk bottles and defrost in a bucket of warm water. It takes a while and sometimes you are left with a little frozen ball of colostrum left in the middle of the bottle.

    Has anyone started using the narrow bags that H&L and g shepherd supply. H&L make a proper defrosting machine but maybe that's a bit OTT.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    yes we are using sheperds, take about an hour to thaw in abig bucket easier than two litre bottles cos they are thinner, we reuse them maybe get four goes out of one, make a fiddling job easy with the tube that screws on

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    Senior Member Sam_TM's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by fergieman View Post
    We use 2 litre plastic milk bottles and defrost in a bucket of warm water. It takes a while and sometimes you are left with a little frozen ball of colostrum left in the middle of the bottle.
    We do exactly the same but keep adding more warm water to try to speed it up a bit!

    How much are the 'proper' bags? Can you only 'tube' calves with them?
    Last edited by Sam_TM; 19-02-13 at 06:47 PM.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    i seem to think a box full plus about three tubes were about 60-80 pound and i seem to think there were maybe 40-50 in box we had a box about a year or more ago and still have a couple of years worth left i think. dont know if you could do other things may be to big for lambs but not got any

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    For calves I use a strong freezer bag which I place in a plastic food container eg those trays about 6" square and 3" deep that you get a family pack of mushrooms in. Pop the whole lot in the freezer. I freeze about 1.5 ltrs/bag.so 2 bags needed for a calf but can do as 2 feeds if necessary as long as within 6 hrs. Defrosting I just pop the bag in a bowl of hot water that I keep refreshing. I pour off all the newly defrosted (so basically cold) liquid each time I change the hot water and that goes into my colostrum feeder bottle that is in a jug of hot water to warm the colostrum up. With a bag rather than a bottle I think it defrosts quicker, you just have to be a bit more careful you don't spill it either when pouring it in before freezing or pouring off when defrosted, or let water get into your freezer bag half way through!

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    We freeze colostrum in 1 litre plastic screwtop bottles, then when you want a portion just saw a ring off of the required length and thaw out, and re-freeze the rest. Goes off too quick in the fridge when you are not very busy and using every day.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by David. View Post
    We freeze colostrum in 1 litre plastic screwtop bottles, then when you want a portion just saw a ring off of the required length and thaw out, and re-freeze the rest. Goes off too quick in the fridge when you are not very busy and using every day.
    Perfect Udder Colostrum bags available from www.gshepherd.co.uk

    All in one system for storing, freezing & feeding, 50 bags, 3 stomach tubes snd 3 teats in one box for 89.

    Dont re-use, nearly impossible to clean after use.... The idea is single use with minimal bacterial loading....... There is a new colostrum pasteuriser called a Dairy Tech Milkworks Gold for Pasteurising upto 6 perfect udder bags of colostrum and defrosting when needed.

    Ideal for "just in time" colostrum management.....

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    I always use strong bags from lakeland plastics (soup and serve I think they are called) and Joules' bucket of hot water method, but I started to think about making a 'colostrum defroster'. Would 2 plastic tubs (one inside the other) and a water bath kept warm with a couple of fish tank heaters be up to the job. Was thinking the air gap between the 2 buckets could be filled with expanding foam as an insulator and the tub kept plugged in and warm all day. I just hate having to change the water every 5 mins and i'm sure the rapid heating cannot be good for the quality of the colostrum.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by 5470 View Post
    I always use strong bags from lakeland plastics (soup and serve I think they are called) and Joules' bucket of hot water method, but I started to think about making a 'colostrum defroster'. Would 2 plastic tubs (one inside the other) and a water bath kept warm with a couple of fish tank heaters be up to the job. Was thinking the air gap between the 2 buckets could be filled with expanding foam as an insulator and the tub kept plugged in and warm all day. I just hate having to change the water every 5 mins and i'm sure the rapid heating cannot be good for the quality of the colostrum.
    Farmers love to be inventors but if you want something immediate and reliable then G Shepherd Animal Health stock a therostatic controlled Teflon coated Milk/water warmer for 240. Ideal for job in hand and also can be used to reheat milk to feeding temperature therefore killing two birds with one stone and improving calf health in the process. www.gshepherd.co.uk

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    How long would it be expected to keep in the freezer?
    This reminded me that what I have in freezer bags is about a year old.

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    Senior Member fergieman's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Anyone priced one of these out of interest?


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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by fergieman View Post
    What do you use and how do you defrost it?

    We use 2 litre plastic milk bottles and defrost in a bucket of warm water. It takes a while and sometimes you are left with a little frozen ball of colostrum left in the middle of the bottle.

    Has anyone started using the narrow bags that H&L and g shepherd supply. H&L make a proper defrosting machine but maybe that's a bit OTT.
    Correct freezing and thawing will increase absorption of the colostrums antibodies no end.. Not really OTT just more money than leaving the calf to suckle the dam, but that's not reliable enough when you consider your heifer calves are you next generation. Calf rearing even before you take into consideration the complications of TB or Johnes can either be the best job or best job on the farm depending on how it's going. Do it well, and it's easier for all and your helping maximise your heifer calves lifetime yields in the process never mind cutting down on expensive antibiotics and scour formulae.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    I take it using a micro-wave to thaw frozen colustrum is a big no no then.

  14. #14

    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by billy sugger View Post
    I take it using a micro-wave to thaw frozen colustrum is a big no no then.
    Definitely - will denature some of the proteins/antibodies

  15. #15

    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by fergieman View Post
    Anyone priced one of these out of interest?
    Retail price last summer was just over the 3000 mark, add the pasteuriser to it, and thats an extra 5k

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by fergieman View Post
    What do you use and how do you defrost it?

    We use 2 litre plastic milk bottles and defrost in a bucket of warm water. It takes a while and sometimes you are left with a little frozen ball of colostrum left in the middle of the bottle.

    Has anyone started using the narrow bags that H&L and g shepherd supply. H&L make a proper defrosting machine but maybe that's a bit OTT.
    In the good old days when we had a flock of ewes who normally did not have enough colostrum we used to get copws colostrum off a neighbour and freeze it in plastic 2 litre bottles as you describe. When thawing we put the plastic bottle into a bucket of warm water.To maximise speed of thaw after so long we poured out the thawed milk into an empty bottle and this just left the frozen ball which could now be directly in contact with the warm water in the bucket.Once this last bit had thawed we mixed it all back together. This probably reduced thawing time by half!

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Seems a bit awkward. Your basically got a floating container of Colostrum in warm water, then hang the 240 warmer thingy in the water, and pray it doesn't touch either the plastic bucket or the plastic container of colostrum, incase it melts. Sounds shady. Ideal would be an insultated bath that will hold the water at 40C, big enough to fit 2x2litre bottles in. So you can leave it on all the time trough calving, ready to warm up a couple of bottles. Then if you get waylayed, it will be sitting at the right temp for you if hour half an hour or 3 hours before you get back to it. Vet said today that a bucket of hot water is no good, cos it will damage the antigens/antibodies on it. Said the water should be no warmer than 40C, and just keep topping it up. There's no way thats practical if your batch calving.

    We just leave calves with dams for 48hrs at the moment, but would like a straightforward, easy way to impliment the 'bagging 10%bw at birth' routine.

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    Junior Member sirbillyofweobley's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Speak with Gill Dickson see below.
    http://www.wynnstaygroup.co.uk/calf_colostrum_kit.html
    Superb advice on all aspects of calf management and nutrition
    prices are always competitive

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Grazer View Post
    Seems a bit awkward. Your basically got a floating container of Colostrum in warm water, then hang the 240 warmer thingy in the water, and pray it doesn't touch either the plastic bucket or the plastic container of colostrum, incase it melts. Sounds shady. Ideal would be an insultated bath that will hold the water at 40C, big enough to fit 2x2litre bottles in. So you can leave it on all the time trough calving, ready to warm up a couple of bottles. Then if you get waylayed, it will be sitting at the right temp for you if hour half an hour or 3 hours before you get back to it. Vet said today that a bucket of hot water is no good, cos it will damage the antigens/antibodies on it. Said the water should be no warmer than 40C, and just keep topping it up. There's no way thats practical if your batch calving.

    We just leave calves with dams for 48hrs at the moment, but would like a straightforward, easy way to impliment the 'bagging 10%bw at birth' routine.
    This was my idea. Anyone feel like making one and letting me know how you get on . I can't see why it wouldn't work and no offence to part timer but it wouldn't cost 240 either.

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    Re: Freezing/defrosting colostrum

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tetra-Tetr...item5d3721ef91



    300w, water bath started with kettle?

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