EPT: Egg Protein Technology for Calf Scours

Updated: Jun 20

The nutrition and health management of newborn calves is a constant topic of concern, and every producer is looking for a cost‐ effective, combination of products and practices that result in healthy calves on a consistent basis.

At birth, the calf’s immune system is not functional, and mother’s colostrum is essential to provide the protective immunoglobulins (IgG’s) against environmental pathogen challenges. Unfortunately, the passive protection of colostrum IgG only lasts about 5 days, allowing a window of opportunity for pathogen caused scours to occur until the active immune system is functioning about 14-21 days later.


Egg Protein Technology


KeyAg Distributors utilizes Egg Protein Technology (EPT) to target specific pathogens commonly found on farms and typically cause scours in calves,

e.g. Rotavirus, E.coli, Coronavirus,

Clostridia, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium,

and Cccidia.


EPT contains specific IgY immunoglobulins in concentrations that are clinically proven to be effective in neutralizing intestinal pathogens and aid in the passive transfer of critical immune factors (IgY). Maintaining a high concentration of specific egg protein IgY in EPT is critical to provide the same passive immunity as from mother colostrum.


Available in paste, powders and gel caps

Formulations include paste, powder and gel cap formulations that can be mixed with milk, milk replacer, water and fed to calves directly. To help prevent the incidence of specific calf scours from specific pathogens administer at birth or as needed until active immunity is developed.


If the calf develops scours and the pathogen is unknown, the six-way combination containing all IgY antibodies should be used according to label directions until the problem is resolved. If the pathogen challenge is known or suspected, administer single or a combination of the IgyY: Rotavirus, E.coli, Coronavirus, Clostridia, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and Coccidia.


Egg Protein Technology is a Natural Process

In chickens, immunoglobulin Y (IgY) is produced in the egg yolk and is the functional equivalent for the passive immunity provided from Immunoglobulin G (IgG) in mammalian colostrum. The IgY is a class of proteins formed by the immune system in reaction to certain invading pathogens. The specific IgY recognize and bind with the pathogen in the intestinal lumen and block their attachment to the animal’s epithelial cells. This binding and blocking action helps reduce the inflammation and infection which causes scours.


Flocks of hens are hyperimmunized with specific antigens, such as E. coli or Salmonella organisms. The chickens mount an immune response and deposit IgY antibodies into their egg yolks. The egg yolk proteins are then harvested and administered orally to calves to aid in scours prevention and control. The antibodies act locally in the gut to bind pathogens and prevent attachment, decreasing severity of disease from the organisms targeted. Figure 1. Below shows the egg protein production and pathogen binding process for K99, a highly pathogenic bacteria causing calf scours.

Figure 1. Egg Protein IgY and Pathogen Binding

Supported by Extensive Research


The efficacy of egg protein IgY for pathogen intervention has been documented and reported in many peer reviewed nutrition and veterinary journals for both livestock and humans. These studies have proven that specific IgY antibodies in egg protein can help aid in the prevention of and support treatment of calf scours from specific pathogens. Currently, EPT products are available for: Rotavirus, E.coli, Coronavirus, Clostridia, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Coccidia.


Safe and Effective

Research has shown that egg protein IgY is safe and effective across all livestock species. The EPT program from KeyAg Distributors targets specific challenges with specific IgY antibodies which has been proven to be more effective than competitive products in correcting calf scour problems.


The Excell Pro™ product line also supports scouring calves with bovine colostrum and electrolytes.



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