Veal calves often develop insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia and glucosuria. We have studied effects of age and nutrition on blood metabolites and hormones, with major emphasis on glucose and insulin, in four groups of veal calves from 66-69 kg until slaughter at 175-196 kg. Calves were fed milk replacers which differed with respect to lactose, total sugar, protein and fat content. Mean intakes in groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 of lactose (1.24, 1.08, 0.95 and 0.66 kg/d), total sugar (1.27, 1.10, 1.01 and 96 kg/d), crude protein (0.40, 0.48, 0.65 and 0.49 kg/d) and crude fat (0.32, 0.31, 0.37 and 0.46 kg/d) were different. Average daily gains were 1.46-1.49 kg and feed/gain ratios were 1.49-1.61 kg/kg. Glucose and insulin concentrations were not associated with protein and fat intakes, but followed lactose and total sugar intakes, albeit differently at the start and end of the growth trial. Thus, insulin concentrations were higher (P < 0.05) at the end than at start of the growth trial in all 4 groups, whereas glucose concentrations increased (P < 0.05) with increasing age in only group 2. In conclusion, lactose and total sugar intakes affected the degree of hyperglycaemia and modified hyperinsulinemia at a given age, but the age-dependent rise of insulin concentrations could not be explained by hyperglycaemia alone.