The objective of this study was first to evaluate whether irradiation treatment of a commercial colostrum replacer (CR) affected acquisition of passive immunity. If the irradiation treatment negatively affected the acquisition of passive immunity, the second objective was to evaluate whether an increased total IgG mass, in a single feeding of CR derived from bovine serum fractions, could compensate for this effect. Acquisition of passive immunity was assessed by 24-h serum IgG levels, serum protein levels, apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) of IgG, and the ability to prevent failure of passive transfer (FPT) in day-old dairy calves fed a single feeding of CR. Single-dose packs of CR were sent to a commercial irradiation facility for electronbeam irradiation at 3 to 7 kGy (low irradiation) or 15 to 20 kGy (high irradiation). Fifty-six Holstein, Jersey, or crossbred calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatments: 1) 130 g of IgG (460 g of CR), no irradiation; 2) 130 g of IgG (460 g of CR), low irradiation; 3) 160 g of IgG (518 g of CR), low irradiation; 4) 190 g of IgG (575.4 g of CR), low irradiation; and 5) 130 g of IgG (460 g of CR), high irradiation. All CR were reconstituted in water and mixed in a household blender to a constant solids concentration of 18.7%. Increasing doses of irradiation (130 g of Ig with no, low, or high irradiation) resulted in a linear decrease in 24-h serum IgG and AEA of IgG, and increased the percentage of calves with FPT. Increasing the IgG mass in the CR (130,160, and 190 g of Ig with low irradiation) resulted in a linear increase in 24-h serum IgG and serum total protein levels, and a linear decrease in AEA of IgG. There was no effect of increasing the mass of IgG fed on thepercentage of calves with FPT. The correlation between serum IgG and serum total protein at 24 h was positive; however, at 24 h the irradiation treatments reduced the serum IgG-to-serum total protein ratio. In this study, CR isolated from bovine serum, providing 130 g of IgG in the first feeding and receiving either no irradiation or a low irradiation treatment, was sufficient to prevent FPT in calves.
- Colostrum replacer