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Heat-treated colostrum and reduced morbidity in preweaned dairy calves: Results of a randomized trial and examination of mechanisms of effectiveness


A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted using 1,071 newborn calves from 6 commercial dairy farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with the primary objective being to describe the effects of feeding heat-treated colostrum on serum immunoglobulin G concentration and health in the preweaning period. A secondary objective was to complete a path analysis to identify intermediate factors that may explain how feeding heat-treated colostrum reduced the risk for illness.


S. M. Godden,*1 D. J. Smolenski,† M. Donahue,*2 J. M. Oakes,† R. Bey,* S. Wells,* S. Sreevatsan,* J. Stabel,‡
and J. Fetrow*

*Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108
†Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454
‡USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010