Frequently Asked Questions
This section will address those questions that we have found to be most common among our customers.
The scale inside of the instrument appears to have slipped. What's the problem?
The scale is designed to hang-down inside of the body of the instrument so that we may have sufficient room to print our name and address. The paper scale is also attached at the top by a carefully placed drop of glue. We have never encountered an instrument, within the last 15 years or so, wherein the scale has become detached from the glass neck and slipped into the body. That is not to say that it is impossible for the scale to slip, but highly unlikely.
Why don't you make the instrument smaller and out of plastic?
If we did that, you probably wouldn't break them and buy more. Just joking! All kidding aside, we would love to make a pocket-sized plastic instrument, but alas, the laws of physics preclude us from such a design change.
First, measurement of specific gravity is a colligative (not changeable) function, wherein, the relationship between the number of molecules present per unit volume of fluid, determines the minimum length of the hydrometer. Therefore, when you have a very dense fluid, you will need a longer hydrometer, as compared to a low density fluid which can be measured using a short hydrometer. Since colostrum is a very dense solution, and in order to establish and maintain a high level of accuracy, a fairly long instrument is required.
As far as building the instrument out of plastic, the problem is that each instrument must be hand-blown and calibrated to ensure accuracy. To the best of our knowledge, there are no plastic hydrometer manufacturing companies.
Why does the COLOSTROMETER™ cost so much?
First, we don't believe that an instrument that provides a rapid field technique for determining colostral quality, at no cost per sample after the initial purchase price, and if the instrument saves one calf's life, is over priced at today's replacement calf costs.
Second, in order to ensure availability of the COLOSTROMETER™ well into the future, we had to structure pricing based upon reasonable manufacturing, distribution and retailing markups.
Third, we felt that by having a specially designed and manufactured instrument would provide a more efficient way for the dairyman to determine colostrum quality. Therefore, since the total purchasing power of the dairy industry, with respect to custom-made hydrometers, represents a very small fraction of the total hydrometers manufactured worldwide, we are not able to command the "best" prices as compared to other industries who purchase generic hydrometers in greater quantity.