Concentrations of nonnutritional factors, such as insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), in bovine colostrum are high and can modulate neonatal gastrointestinal tract development and function. In neonatal calves, we have investigated effects on intestinal epithelial cell morphology, proliferation, and absorption of feeding milk-born human IGF-I (hIGF-I) or a bovine colostrum extract. Calves were fed a milk-based formula containing amounts of nutrients comparable to colostrum for the first 3 d and a milk replacer from d 4 on. Formula and milk replacer contained only traces of nonnutritional factors. In experiment 1, supraphysiological amounts of hIGF-I (3.8 mg/L formula; secreted by transgenic rabbits with their milk) were added to the formula. Xylose appearance in blood (after feeding xylose on d 5) and intestinal traits (after euthanasia on d 8) did not differ between groups. In experiment 2, an extract of first-milked bovine colostrum that provided physiological amounts of IGF-I (0.50, 0.15, and 0.09 mg of IGF-I/L formula on d 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and 0.09 mg of IGF-I/L milk replacer on d 4) was added to formula or milk replacer. Plasma xylose concentration in the control group was transiently higher than in calves fed the colostrum extract. On d 5 (after euthanasia), villus circumferences and heights in small intestine, and epithelial cell proliferation rate in intestine were higher in calves fed the colostrum extract than in controls. In conclusion, orally administered hIGF-I from transgenic rabbits had no effect on the intestinal tract. However, feeding a bovine colostrum extract enhanced intestinal villus size, although it appeared to transiently decrease the absorptive capacity.