BRD economics in dairy calves

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Geni Wren Amy Stanton, PhD, University of Guelph, says young dairy calves that have experienced a bovine respiratory disease (BRD) episode can have long-term economic effects such as:

  • Calves with BRD following movement to group housing have lower average daily gain than their healthy herdmates for up to 4 months after first treatment. In a study, at 1 year of age, BRD calves weighed 30 pounds less than their healthy herdmates.
  • BRD decreases survival to first calving both through mortality and increased risk of culling.
  • It’s been shown for more than 20 years that heifers that have had BRD as a calf and do calve, are more likely to calve later in life (Waltner-Toews, et al, 1986; Correa et al, 1988). This is still occurring, despite changes in disease and cattle management, as shown in Stanton’s current research.


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