How to use a colostrometer

Good quality colostrum is vital for passive transfer of immunity to your foal (read more here).

The first step to ensure your mare has good colostrum is to test it immediately after she foals. The easiest way to do this is with a colostrometer, or Brix Refractometer, which you can get from any of our clinics.

Below is a handy guide on how to use the Brix Refractometer and how to interpret the results:

Step 1: Collect a small amount of colostrum from the mare.

Step 2: Open the clear lid (daylight plate) on the Brix Refractometer and apply a couple of drops of the colostrum onto the blue surface (prism), using the pipette provided.

Step 3: Close the daylight plate, which spreads the colostrum across the surface of the prism.

Step 4: Hold the refractometer in the direction of a light source and look through the eyepiece for your results.

Step 5: Check the reading against this chart:

Colostrum quality, Brix readings (%)

  • >30 = Very Good

  • 20-30 = Good

  • 15-20 = Fair

  • <15 = Poor

If your mare’s colostrum is 20 or below, ring the clinic for advice on the best approach to optimise your foal’s health.


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