Objective—To compare the efficacy of a lacteal-derived colostrum replacer (LDCR) for the prevention of failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT) in calves with that of pooled maternal colostrum (MC).
Design—Randomized field trial.
Animals—568 heifer calves from 1 California dairy.
Procedures—Calves were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 treatment groups and fed 2 doses (200 g of IgG) of an LDCR or 3.8 L of pooled MC. From each calf, blood samples were collected before and approximately 24 hours after treatment. Serum IgG and total protein (TP) concentrations were quantified with standard methods, and the apparent efficiency of IgG absorption was calculated.
Results—At 24 hours after treatment, mean serum TP and IgG concentrations were significantly lower for calves fed pooled MC (TP, 4.77 g/dL; IgG, 7.50 g/L), compared with those for calves fed the LDCR (TP, 5.50 g/dL; IgG, 15.15 g/L). Calves fed the LDCR were 95% less likely to develop FPT (OR, 0.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.03 to 0.08) than were calves fed pooled MC. However, the mean IgG concentration in the pooled MC fed during the study (21.1 g/L) was substantially lower than that (64.3 g/L) determined for representative samples of pooled MC from other southwestern US dairies during a national survey.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that, on this particular dairy, calves fed an LDCR were at less risk of developing FPT than were calves fed pooled MC. The LDCR evaluated was a viable alternative for the prevention of FPT in calves.