Navel Infections and Colostrum Feeding
Calves with higher levels of passive transfer of antibodies had a lower rate of navel infections.
The calves for this study came from a commercial dairy in New York State. The dairy dipped navels on all calves. The umbilical infection rate among the 141 calves was 29.9 percent.
Navel infection included: (1) pain at navel, (2) presence of fistula with drainage, (3) diameter of umbilical stalk >30mm, (4) diameter of umbilical stalk increased size as compared to a prior evaluation of >10mm, (5) diameter of urachus of calves older than 2 days >10mm, (6) diameter of umbilical artery >15mm, and (7) umbilical vein diameter >25mm. Note that this definition is clearly much more detailed than the average calf care person's observational procedures.
The overall failure of passive transfer was 16.4 percent.
Reference: Wieland, M. and Others, "Umbilical cord care: effects on navel involution, calf health and growth." Bovine Practitioner, September, 2015, p. 228.