New-born calves depend upon colostrum intake for the acquisition of immunoglobulins (Ig) and other beneficial substances. However, colostrum is also a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Intrinsic production of ROS also increases after birth, so the combination of colostral and intrinsic ROS could overwhelm the antioxidant capacity of the calf leading to oxidative stress (OS), a condition that has been shown to play a key role in the initiation and development of several pathological conditions.The aim of this observational study was to assess the effects of the redox balance of colostrum on the oxidative status of calves and on passive immune transfer. Serum samples were taken from 20 calves on their day of birth, every week during their first month of life and at 2 and 3. months of age, and the concentrations of ROS and serum antioxidant capacity (SAC) assayed. The oxidative/anti-oxidative profile and IgG content of the colostrum were also assessed.The redox balance of the colostrum had a significant effect on both calf oxidative status and on passive immune transfer (as measured by calf serum IgG concentration), which indicates that the oxidative/antioxidative profile of colostrum should be measured when colostrum quality is assessed. The highest risk of OS during the study period was found to be when the calves were fed artificial milk replacer; this suggests that calves should be supplemented with antioxidants during this period in order to minimize any harmful consequences of high ROS generation.