Effect of an immunostimulant administered at or near weaning on weight gain and health of beef calves


  • B. R. Hoar Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
  • D. M. Myers Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Browns Valley, CA 95918




bovine, beef calves, weaning, immunostimulant, immunity, beef cattle, calves, cell wall components, disease resistance, immune response, immunostimulatory properties, morbidity


Weaning is generally regarded as a very stressful event in the life of calves, and is often associated with an increase in morbidity and reduced weight gain. Various management strategies are employed in an effort to reduce the impact of weaning on calf health and productivity. This study examined the effects of a nonspecific immune stimulant, mycobacterial cell wall (MCW), administered at or near weaning on the subsequent morbidity and growth of beef calves and assess the effects of a single dose of MCW on white blood cell parameters when given on the day of weaning. Heifer calves (n=137) were treated with either MCW or saline two weeks prior to weaning, while steer calves (n=60) were given either MCW or saline on the day of weaning and were monitored for 120 days. Results revealed that there were no observed differences between treatment groups in either weight gain or number of disease events. Under the conditions of this trial, administration of MCW at or near weaning did not have a significant effect on calf health or weight gain.




How to Cite

Hoar, B. R., & Myers, D. M. (2007). Effect of an immunostimulant administered at or near weaning on weight gain and health of beef calves. The Bovine Practitioner, 41(1), 48–51. https://doi.org/10.21423/bovine-vol41no1p48-51