USDA researchers have developed an anti-stress formula that may one day help you alleviate transport stress in young calves. Calves fed the supplement before transport had lower levels of fibrinogen, a liver protein that typically increases with stress, than non-supplemented calves. The calves also had higher immunoglobulin-G levels and resumed normal growth faster than non-supplemented calves. The formula was developed by immunologist Susan Eicher with the agency’s Livestock Behavior Research Unit in West Lafayette, Ind., and Tim Johnson, dairy extension specialist with Purdue University. It contains electrolytes, beta-glucan from yeast-cell walls and vitamin C.

More work is under way to determine the supplement’s mode of action on the immune system.