Newborn Calf Care: Passive Immunity
Often times dairy farm employees are trained what they need to do to perform their job, but why they need to perform certain tasks is rarely explained. In addition to this, there is a language barrier between dairy owners and managers and employees.
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[00:00:00.411](upbeat instrumental music)
[00:00:20.140]In dairy calves,
[00:00:21.140]we often hear the term passive immunity.
[00:00:23.860]This is the short-term immunity transfer
[00:00:26.250]from mother to offspring
[00:00:27.710]by way of colostrum consumption.
[00:00:30.460]Calves are born with a naive, or immature, immune system.
[00:00:34.090]Basically, they don't have
[00:00:35.310]an active immune system of their own.
[00:00:37.840]They rely on the mother's first milk, or colostrum,
[00:00:41.060]which contains antibodies,
[00:00:42.600]commonly referred to as immunoglobulins,
[00:00:45.220]for priming the calves' immune system.
[00:00:48.020]Colostrum also contains a high amount
[00:00:50.450]of fat, protein and other nutrients
[00:00:53.240]to provide energy to the calf.
[00:00:55.730]During pregnancy there is no transport
[00:00:57.890]of antibodies across the placenta,
[00:00:59.800]which is why passive immunity is critical.
[00:01:02.870]A newborn calf's small intestine is permeable, or open,
[00:01:06.720]and can absorb the immunoglobulins contained in colostrum.
[00:01:10.570]However, the rate of absorption through the intestinal wall
[00:01:13.630]into the bloodstream starts to decline
[00:01:16.020]after the first four hours of life.
[00:01:18.480]For this reason it is important
[00:01:20.650]that newborn calves receive colostrum
[00:01:23.290]as soon as possible.
[00:01:24.880]We recommend within two to four hours after birth,
[00:01:28.020]and the sooner the better.
[00:01:29.520]Failure to obtain and absorb immunoglobulins
[00:01:32.850]across the small intestinal wall into the bloodstream
[00:01:35.880]results in greater illness and death loss.
[00:01:38.910]This is referred to as failure of passive transfer.
[00:01:42.530]Calves with failure of passive transfer
[00:01:44.880]are associated with decreased growth rates
[00:01:47.340]and increased health problems,
[00:01:49.220]which represents long-term economic loss.
[00:01:52.380]There are four reasons for the cause
[00:01:54.360]of failure of passive transfer:
[00:01:56.630]delayed colostrum feeding,
[00:01:58.900]the amount of colostrum consumed was not enough,
[00:02:02.320]low quality colostrum,
[00:02:04.550]low absorption of colostrum antibodies.
[00:02:07.500]These four reasons will be reviewed further
[00:02:09.890]in the colostrum management videos.
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