Passive Immunity Status and Long-Term Health and Performance of Calves

Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist — You have heard the warning: “What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas!!!” Perhaps you have not heard: “What happens in the first 24 hours, impacts the rest of a calf’s life”! Veterinary scientists, while with the USDA experiment station at Clay Center, Nebraska monitored health events and growth performance in a population of range beef calves in order to identify associations of production factors with baby calf passive immune status. “Passive immunity” is the receiving of antibodies from the mother’s colostrum. At this stage of life the only disease-fighting antibodies a baby calf has is via “passive immunity.”

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