The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of artificial mothering, simulated by verbal and physical stimulation of the newborn, on passive transfer of IgG in the dairy calf. Newborn heifer calves born without dystocia were removed from the dam before suckling and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: no tactile or verbal stimulation other than that required for feeding (group 1; n = 20), or artificial mothering, consisting of 15. min of vigorous physical and verbal stimulation conducted within 1 to 2. h of birth at the time of colostrum feeding and repeated 1 to 2. h later (group 2; n = 21). All calves were fed 2.25. L (150. g of IgG) of a commercially available colostrum replacement using an esophageal tube feeder. Blood samples collected at 24. h of age showed that serum IgG levels and the apparent efficiency of absorption of the IgG were similar in both groups of calves. Artificial mothering by physical and verbal stimulation had no significant effect on IgG passive transfer in dairy heifers born without dystocia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the owners and staff at Emerald Dairy II (Emerald, WI) for their support of this study. We also thank Dan Hagman (University of Minnesota), the main student technician on this project, Chantelle Gosselin and Ron Sargent (The Saskatoon Colostrum Co. Ltd.) for laboratory technical assistance, and Jayme Acres (University of Saskatchewan) for editorial assistance. This study was funded through the Minnesota Rapid Agricultural Response Fund and through a nonrestricted gift and in-kind support by the Saskatoon Colostrum Co. Ltd. (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada).
- Passive transfer