- During the fetal to neonatal transition, the newborn calf encounters severe thermolysis due to an abrupt change in thermal environment that is compounded by evaporation of fetal fluids and severe weather conditions. Maintenance of homeothermy during the neonatal period necessitates an acute and sustained thermogenic response by the newborn calf. It is now widely accepted that this thermogenic response is derived from both shivering thermogenesis in muscle tissue and nonshivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT). It is critical that newborn calves possess functional BAT during the neonatal period. This article focuses on the pre- and postnatal factors that influence nonshivering thermogenesis of BAT in the neonatal calf.