There may be more to passive transfer than colostrum quantity, time of feeding and immunoglobulin content.

In a Virginia Tech study, 21 percent of calves experienced passive transfer failure — even though colostrum quality, quantity and time of feeding were top-notch.

In another study from the University of Minnesota, 28 percent of calves suffered failure of passive transfer.

Evidence from both studies suggests that a certain percentage of calves will fail to absorb enough antibodies, despite being fed adequate levels of IgG at birth.

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