Life on the dairy: Kitten edition
We’ve already discussed a few benefits of living out in the country, but another is that we get to enjoy raising quite a few pets. Nothing too crazy, but in addition to all the cows on the dairies, we currently have two golden retrievers and 8 cats. The cats are happy to be outdoors, they roam around wherever they please, then come back to a bowl of cat food whenever they want it. One of these cats is actually a wild one – my mom would describe her as a “freeloader” because she won’t let us near her, but she sneaks our cat food when we’re not looking.
The freeloader recently had a litter of kittens, and she chose to have her kittens in our backyard (this seemed a bit ironic since she personally doesn’t want to be near us, but we are flattered that she recognized we are a good family to raise your kitties by… and we loved the opportunity to nurture the baby kittens). We tried to help her by putting a fence around her and her kittens so that our dogs wouldn’t accidentally assume they were new chew-toys, but unfortunately, the mama’s logic wore off by then. She decided to move her kittens away from the safety of us; and unfortunately (again), her shelter of choice was our roof.
This is one rare example when nature didn’t necessarily know best: The roof was slanted, so the newborn kittens rolled into the gutter. Thankfully, my husband managed to save them and we are now the proud owners of 12 cats. 🙂
Besides this freeloader, nature usually knows best. God designed nature so intricately that things tend to work together, naturally. For example, the way the earth rotates around the sun, the way water evaporates from oceans and rivers and then later rains down on the earth’s surface, and there’s the symbiotic relationship between giraffes, acacia trees, and ants in Africa: Giraffes love to eat leaves off acacia trees, and the tiny ants living inside the trees bite the giraffes to ensure that the giraffes don’t overeat the leaves. All that to say, the world around us has been designed so intricately and nature works together in such a beautiful manner, that it is usually best to let nature run its course.
Colostrum is one of those things that is also best left to nature.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals after giving birth. This early life nutrition is yellow in color — in fact, it is also known as “liquid gold” due to high beta-carotene content. It is high in protein and low in fat and sugar. It is filled with white blood cells that produce antibodies.
These antibodies strengthen the baby’s immune system, protecting him or her from infection.
Colostrum is highly concentrated and is thicker than milk because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and bioactive nutrients that help develop a healthy immune system and gastrointestinal tract (the gut). It is nutrient-dense even in tiny doses, so your baby’s tummy does not need a lot of it in order to reap its benefits.
What kind of nutrients are in human colostrum?
Colostrum is rich in nutrients that protect and nourish your baby unlike anything else. It is made up of bioactive compounds like:
- Immunoglobulin A (an antibody)
- Lactoferrin (a protein that helps prevent infection)
- Leukocytes (white blood cells)
- Epidermal Growth factors (proteins that stimulate cell growth & regeneration)
- Vitamin A (plays a vital role in your baby’s vision, skin and immune system)
- Magnesium (supports your baby’s heart and bones)
What is bovine colostrum?
Bovine colostrum is specifically from cows. Bovine colostrum has similar qualities to human colostrum, and can greatly benefit our health– again in small doses because it is so nutrient-dense. Like human babies, calves are not born with a fully developed immune system, so it’s vital that they get the colostrum they need to survive and thrive. Growth factors, immunoglobulins, bioactive proteins (such as proline-rich polypeptides), bovine milk oligosaccharides, antibodies, and more, are found to be especially abundant in bovine colostrum.
WonderCow Colostrum Powder is simply dried bovine colostrum that goes through a low-temperature pasteurization process to maintain as many bioactive nutrients as possible. We wanted to keep it as close to natural as possible by not adding anything to it because as discussed, nature pretty much always knows best.
And in case you are curious, the kittens are thriving and growing– our daughters rotate through names: Star, Superkitty, Roxy, and Rainbow (seems very appropriate, given that it’s a white kitty). And their mother, the freeloader, still doesn’t love to be held, but she does allow us to pet her every once in a while. 🙃
Want to learn more? Check out research on bovine colostrum. It’s pretty wonderful, if we do say so ourselves.