Objective - To determine the amount of colostral IgG required for adequate passive transfer in calves administered colostrum by use of oroesophageal intubation and evaluate the impact of other factors on passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulins in calves. Animals - 120 Holstein bull calves. Procedures - Calves were randomly assigned to specific treatment groups on the basis of volume of colostrum administered and age of calf at administration of colostrum. Colostrum was administered once by oroesophageal intubation. Equal numbers of calves received 1, 2, 3, or 4 L of colostrum, and equal numbers of calves received colostrum at 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, or 22 hours after birth. Serum samples were obtained from calves 48 hours after birth for IgG determination by radial immunodiffusion assay. Effects of factors affecting transfer of colostral immunoglobulins were determined by use of a stepwise multiple regression model and logistic regression models. Results - A minimum of 153 g of colostral IgG was required for optimum colostral transfer of immunoglobulins when calves were fed 3 L of colostrum at 2 hours after birth. Substantially larger IgG intakes were required by calves fed colostrum > 2 hours after birth. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Feeding 100 g of colostral IgG by oroesophageal intubation was insufficient for adequate passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulins. At least 150 to 200 g of colostral IgG was required for adequate passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulins. Use of an oroesophageal tube for administration of 3 L of colostrum to calves within 2 hours after birth is recommended.
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