Storing colostrum

colostrum bucket

Do not leave colostrum at room temperature. Bacteria double every 20 minutes in room temperature colostrum. When you do refrigerate colostrum, the fridge should be between 1°C to 2°C. When cooling down a larger amount of colostrum you can add ice packs in the colostrum to cool it quicker. It is recommended that colostrum be stored in 2 liter containers.

How long can colostrum be stored?

  • 30 minutes at room/barn temperature
  • 3 days in the fridge (cooled immediately after milking)
  • 1 year in the freezer (cooled immediately after milking)

If in doubt, toss it out!

Freezing colostrum
It is recommended that colostrum is frozen in two–litre double-bagged freezer bags or two-litre plastic containers. Laying the bags on a flat surface in the freezer – like a cookie sheet for example – speeds up the freezing process. Colostrum can be frozen for up to one year.

Thawing colostrum
The best practice is to thaw frozen colostrum in a warm water bath of 50°C, not at room temperature.

New research challenges the status quo for colostrum management
Is your fridge or freezer good enough to store colostrum? Think about the value of colostrum in preventing disease and milk production, or even the cost of powdered colostrum – the price of a reliable fridge becomes well worth it to protect this valuable resource.