Passive transfer affects feed efficiency

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When passive transfer fails, feed efficiency and growth rates suffer, says Mike Van Amburgh, dairy nutritionist at Cornell University.  Researchers compared the performance of calves with good passive transfer — as measured by a blood serum protein level of 5.5 milligrams per deciliter or greater — to calves with poor passive transfer in three controlled field studies conducted in New York. Here is what they found:

  • Dry matter intake was equal.
  • The feed efficiency and growth rate of calves with poor passive transfer was just 50 percent of their counterparts.

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