Gut microbial colonization and immune response may be affected by milk feeding method. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feeding high or low volumes of milk on fecal bacterial count, inflammatory response, blood metabolites and growth performance of Holstein female calves. Colostrum-fed calves (n = 48) were randomly assigned to either high milk (HM; n = 24) or low milk (LM; n = 24) feeding groups. Low milk-fed calves were fed pasteurized whole milk at 10% of BW until weaning. In HM group, milk was offered to calves at 20% of BW for the first 3 weeks of life. Then, milk allowance was decreased gradually to reach 10% of BW on day 26 and remained constant until weaning on day 51. Calves were allowed free access to water and starter throughout the experiment. Body weight was measured weekly, and blood samples were taken on days 14, 28 and 57. Fecal samples were collected on days 7, 14 and 21 of age for the measurement of selected microbial species. By design, HM calves consumed more nutrients from milk during the first 3 weeks and they were heavier than LM calves on days 21, 56 and 98. High milk-fed calves had greater serum glucose and triglyceride levels on day 14 with no significant difference between groups on days 28 and 57. Blood urea nitrogen was higher in LM calves on day 14, but it was lower in HM calves on day 28. Calves in LM group had significantly greater blood tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) than HM calves throughout the experiment. Serum amyloid A (SAA) concentration was higher in LM calves on day 14. However, HM calves showed higher levels of SAA at the time of weaning. Feeding high volumes of milk resulted in lower serum cortisol levels on days 14 and 28 but not at the time of weaning in HM calves compared to LM counterparts. Lactobacillus count was higher in feces sample of HM calves. Conversely, the numbers of Escherichia coli was greater in the feces of LM calves. Calves in HM group showed fewer days with fever and tended to have fewer days treated compared to LM group. In conclusion, feeding higher amounts of milk during the first 3 weeks of life improved gut microbiota, inflammation and health status and growth performance of Holstein dairy calves.