Colostrum management

Giving newborn calves the protection of antibodies

What did the client need?

In order to educate farmers and professionals, the client requested a short animation in two parts: the first explaining colostrum (what it is and how and when it is consumed) and the second giving extra details on maintaining the high quality of colostrum. We were given a key message around which to base the video, “intake of colostrum is crucial for calf health,” and were asked to relate the best time for colostrum intake, the quantity to be given, and the retention of fresh colostrum’s high quality. The client emphasized that information should be delivered visually as much as possible.

How did we meet this need?

We produced an elegant four-and-a-half minute 3D animation covering each aspect of the client’s message. The animals were depicted as transparent, stylized 3D models, supplemented with animated arrows to clearly demonstrate the passage of antibodies from parent to feeding bottle to calf. Animated 2D diagrams and time bars with ticking sound effects communicated hard data, and numerical information was presented in text boxes. A narrator and musical score provided a story flow and set the tone of this informative animation.

Our video begins with a scientific explanation of the transferal of antibodies from cow to calf at birth: the calf, born without antibodies, has only the first 24 hours in which the permeable intestinal wall can absorb the most antibodies from its mother’s colostrum. Antibodies provided later still play an important role for local immunity, fighting pathogens in the gut, but they do not enter the bloodstream to provide systemic immunity. Having established the importance of these antibodies, we then underline the advantages of vaccinating cows to increase antibody levels against certain pathogens (here our transparent design means that the newly introduced antibodies are clearly visible).  The second part of the animation describes the correct storage technique for fresh colostrum from a vaccinated cow: it should not be given to more calves and should be stored cold in a sterile container.

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