Breastfeeding is sufficient for infants in the first 6 months of life and is important to maintain maternal health. Evidences revealed that neonatal mortality is higher among children who received colostrum as compared to those who are deprived of colostrum. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the factors associated with colostrum avoidance practice among pastoralists in Afar Regional State, Northeast Ethiopia. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 1188 mother-child pairs in Afar Regional State in June 2016. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify the predictors of colostrum avoidance. Statistical significance was declared at P -value <.05. About 40% of children deprived of colostrum. Mothers aged 20 to 34 years (AOR: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.73), not attending antenatal checkup (AOR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.64, 2.85), receiving prelacteal feeding (AOR: 2.21; CI: 1.88, 3.93) and late initiation of breastfeeding (AOR: 2.71; 95% CI: 2.02, 3.65) were positively associated with colostrum avoidance. Nearly 4 in 10 children deprived of colostrum. Therefore, promoting antenatal care and strengthening service-based counseling on proper newborn feeding practices will be important to improve colostrum feeding.