[en] The influence of somatic growth and genetic selection on the whole blood oxygen equilibrium curve (OEC) was measured under standard conditions in double-muscled and dairy calves during their first 3 mo of life. Crossbreed animals were also investigated. Hemoglobin, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG), Cl, and Pi concentrations were also measured. The percentage of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) was determined. The influence of exogenous Cl, Pi, and pH on the OEC was also assessed. The PO2 at 50% hemoglobin saturation (P50) increased during somatic growth, probably because of the increase in DPG recorded in double-muscled neonates and to the progressive disappearance of HbF in both breeds. The oxygen exchange fraction (OEF%) was used to assess the combined influence of the OEC shift and OEC shape changes on blood oxygen desaturation under standard conditions, when the PO2 decreases within a physiological range. The OEF% showed an increase during the first month, then a stabilization. The effects of Cl, Pi, and pH in Friesian calves were similar as in adult cattle. Double-muscled neonates had a lower P50, OEF% values, and DPG concentrations and higher hemoglobin and Cl concentrations than Friesian neonates. The Pi concentration and the percentage of HbF were similar in both breeds. The pH and the Cl concentration had significantly less effect on the OEC in double-muscled than in Friesian calves. Crossbreed animals exhibited intermediate parameter values, between those recorded for double-muscled and Friesian calves. All differences between breeds progressively disappeared during the first month. These data show that blood function changes markedly in calves during the first month of life and that genetic selection can alter blood function.