In order to develop a calf model for studying the syndrome of ruminal drinking (RD) in veal calves, three dual-fistulated calves were used to test the effect of intraruminal administration of milk replacer on the jejunal mucosa. Biopsies of the proximal jejunal mucosa were taken through a jejunal fistula and the mucosal morphology and the activities of two brush border enzymes, lactase and alkaline phosphatase, were determined. Means of villus length and brush border enzyme activities decreased during the period of intraruminal administration of milk. The hyperplastic villus atrophy in this model was similar to that found in chronic RD patients in previous studies. This could not be associated with isolation of pathogenic micro-organisms from the faeces and is probably the consequence of the intraruminal milk feeding procedure itself. Clinical recovery from the signs of RD occurred rapidly after intraruminal administration of milk ceased and was followed by restoration of villus length and brush border enzyme activities 3-4 weeks later.