Swabs of rectal faeces were obtained daily for 28 days from 90 calves reared in five batches during the summer of 1983. The calves were purchased unweaned in markets and fed a milk-substitute diet. Salmonella typhimurium phage type DT204c was isolated from calves in four batches and Salmonella newport from one. When the data from the 90 calves were considered together the incidence of salmonellas, excretion rose to peak between 5 and 7 days after purchase before declining to low levels during the fourth week. Salmonella was isolated from 55 (61%) calves; 30 were positive on up to four occasions while 21 and 4 animals respectively were positive between 5 and 11 and 15 and 20 times. In the majority of animals infection was probably subclinical since treatment with antibacterial drugs and excretion of S. typhimurium coincided in four calves only.