Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Calf health from birth to weaning. III. Housing and management of calf pneumonia

By Ingrid Lorenz, Bernadette Earley, John Gilmore, Ian Hogan, Emer Kennedy and Simon J More


peer-reviewedCalfhood diseases have a major impact on the economic viability of cattle operations. A three part review series has been developed focusing on calf health from birth to weaning. In this paper, the last of the three part series, we review disease prevention and management with particular reference to pneumonia, focusing primarily on the pre-weaned calf. Pneumonia in recently weaned suckler calves is also considered, where the key risk factors are related to the time of weaning. Weaning of the suckler calf is often combined with additional stressors including a change in nutrition, environmental change, transport and painful husbandry procedures (castration, dehorning). The reduction of the cumulative effects of these multiple stressors around the time of weaning together with vaccination programmes (preconditioning) can reduce subsequent morbidity and mortality in the feedlot. In most studies, calves housed individually and calves housed outdoors with shelter, are associated with decreased risk of disease. Even though it poses greater management challenges, successful group housing of calves is possible. Special emphasis should be given to equal age groups and to keeping groups stable once they are formed. The management of pneumonia in calves is reliant on a sound understanding of aetiology, relevant risk factors, and of effective approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Early signs of pneumonia include increased respiratory rate and fever, followed by depression. The single most important factor determining the success of therapy in calves with pneumonia is early onset of treatment, and subsequent adequate duration of treatment. The efficacy and economical viability of vaccination against respiratory disease in calves remains unclear

Topics: Calf health, Periparturient management
Publisher: Biomed Central
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1186/2046-0481-64-14
OAI identifier:
Provided by: T-Stór

Suggested articles


  1. (1996). A: Synergistic role of gaseous ammonia in etiology of Pasteurella multocida-induced atrophic rhinitis in swine.
  2. (1953). A: The measurement of heat loss through floors. Vet Rec
  3. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Suckler herds welfare scheme 2008-2012.
  4. (2010). and prevention of bovine respiratory disease in dairy calves and cows. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  5. (2004). Beaudeau F: Incidence of respiratory disorders during housing in non-weaned Charolais calves in cow-calf farms of Pays de la Loire (western France). Prev Vet Med doi
  6. (2010). Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) is an important cofactor in the bovine respiratory disease complex. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  7. (2010). Bovine respiratory coronavirus. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  8. (2006). Bovine respiratory disease: pathogenesis, clinical signs, and treatment in lightweight calves. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  9. (2007). Bovine respiratory syncytial virus infection: immunopathogenic mechanisms. Anim Health Res Rev doi
  10. (1977). Bruising in cattle presented for slaughter. doi
  11. (1976). Bruising of carcasses cost us millions.
  12. (2010). BW: Respiratory disease diagnostics of cattle. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  13. (2010). BWE: Bovine respiratory disease. Vet Clin N Am: Food Anim Pract
  14. (1979). Calculation of ventilation needs for confined cattle.
  15. (1993). Calf diseases and mortality in Swedish dairy herds. Acta Vet Scand
  16. (1984). Calf husbandry, health and welfare doi
  17. (1984). Calf mortality in Virginia Dairy Herd Improvement herds. doi
  18. (2010). Characterisation of physiological and immunological responses in beef cows to abrupt weaning and subsequent housing. BMC Vet Res doi
  19. (2005). Crowe MA: Effects of age of Holstein-Friesian calves on plasma cortisol, acute-phase proteins, immunological function, scrotal measurements and growth in response to Burdizzo castration. Animal Science doi
  20. (2009). Crowe MA: Effects of banding or burdizzo castration of bulls on neutrophil phagocytosis and respiratory burst, CD62-L expression, and serum interleukin-8 concentration. doi
  21. (1993). den Ingh TS: Automated feeding of milk replacer and health control of group-housed veal calves. Vet Rec doi
  22. (2008). Disease management of dairy calves and heifers. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  23. (2005). DJ: Dehorning and disbudding distress and its alleviation in calves. doi
  24. (1998). Drackley JK: The development, nutrition, and management of the young calf Ames, Iowa: Iowa State
  25. (2011). Earley B: Effect of post-weaning management practices on physiological and immunological responses of weaned beef calves.
  26. (2010). Effect of abrupt weaning at housing on leukocyte distribution, functional activity of neutrophils, and acute phase protein response of beef calves. doi
  27. (2009). Effect of age at weaning on the physiological stress response and temperament of two beef cattle breeds. Animal doi
  28. (1984). Effect of antiprostaglandin therapy in experimental parainfluenza type 3 pneumonia in weaned, conventional calves. Vet Rec doi
  29. (2004). Effects of a single intranasal dose of modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial virus vaccine on resistance to subsequent viral challenge in calves. doi
  30. (2005). Efficacy of a saponin-adjuvanted inactivated respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in calves. Can Vet J
  31. (2006). EFSA: Definition of a BoHV-1-free animal and a BoHV-1- free holding, and the procedures to verify and maintain this status. Annex to the EFSA Journal
  32. (1995). Elsasser TH: Adrenal responses of Angus × Hereford cattle to the stress of weaning.
  33. (2009). Enemark JMD: Respiratory disease in calves: microbiological investigations on trans-tracheally aspirated bronchoalveolar fluid and acute phase protein response. Vet Microbiol doi
  34. (1997). Enright WJ: Effects of suppressing cortisol following castration of bull calves on adrenocorticotropic hormone, in vitro interferongamma production, leukocytes, acute-phase proteins, growth, and feed intake.
  35. (1984). Environmental design for a total animal health care system. Bov Pract
  36. (2011). European Parliament resolution of 12
  37. (2002). FB: Biosecurity and bovine respiratory disease. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  38. (2003). FG: Effect of transportation and commingling on the acute-phase protein response, growth, and feed intake of newly weaned beef calves.
  39. (1994). Field study of undifferentiated respiratory disease in housed beef calves. Vet Rec doi
  40. (1990). Five field trials on the efficacy of a bovine respiratory syncytial virus vaccine. Can Vet J
  41. (1998). FL: Calf and disease factors affecting growth doi
  42. (1986). Flunixin meglumine in calves with natural bovine respiratory syncytial virus infection. Vet Rec doi
  43. (2009). Genetics, environment and bovine respiratory disease. Anim Health Res Rev doi
  44. (2006). GL: Bovine respiratory disease in feedlot cattle: environmental, genetic, and economic factors. doi
  45. (2001). Health and performance of young dairy calves vaccinated with a modified-live Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida vaccine. J Am Vet Med Assoc doi
  46. (1997). Heinrichs AJ: Management practices associated with high mortality among preweaned dairy heifers. doi
  47. (1994). HK: Open versus closed barn and individual versus group-housing for bull calves destined for beef production. Livest Prod Sci doi
  48. (2010). Hötzel MJ: The effects of alternative weaning methods on behaviour in beef calves. Livest Sci doi
  49. (1997). Hunsaker BD: A review of bovine respiratory disease vaccine field efficacy. Bov Pract
  50. III: Health Management and Biosecurity
  51. (1976). IM: Letter: Pneumonia in singlesuckled calves. Vet Rec
  52. (1995). IS: Assessment of acute and chronic pain after different methods of castration of calves. Appl Anim Behav Sci doi
  53. (2002). JA: BHV-1-Specific CD4+, CD8+, and γδ T Cells in Calves Vaccinated with One Dose of a Modified Live BHV-1 Vaccine. Viral Immunol doi
  54. (1999). JA: The efficacy of modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial virus vaccines in experimentally infected calves. Vaccine doi
  55. (1997). JM: Effects of remote and contact weaning on behaviour and weight gain of beef calves (Abstract). J Anim Sci
  56. (2003). JM: Fenceline contact of beef calves with their dams at weaning reduces the negative effects of separation on behavior and growth rate.
  57. (2005). JM: The effects of weaning beef calves in two stages on their behavior and growth rate.
  58. Krankheiten der Atmungsorgane, des Zwerchfells und der Brustwand. doi
  59. (2006). Littel-van den Hurk S: Rationale and perspectives on the success of vaccination against bovine herpesvirus-1. Vet Microbiol doi
  60. (2005). Long-term effects of meloxicam in the treatment of respiratory disease in fattening cattle. Vet Rec
  61. (1996). Lowman BG: Use of tilmicosin in a severe outbreak of respiratory disease in weaned beef calves. Aust Vet J doi
  62. (2006). Lungworms of ruminants. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  63. (2007). Maddock TD: Creep feeding nursing beef calves. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  64. (2010). Mamak N: Clinical efficacy of diclofenac sodium and flunixin meglumine as adjuncts to antibacterial treatment of respiratory disease of calves. Aust Vet J doi
  65. (2010). MD: Control methods for bovine respiratory disease in stocker cattle. Vet Clin N Am: Food Anim Pract doi
  66. (1986). Meek AH: Dairy calf management, morbidity and mortality in Ontario Holstein herds. III. Association of management with morbidity. Prev Vet Med doi
  67. (1986). Meek AH: Dairy calf management, morbidity and mortality in Ontario Holstein herds. IV. Association of management with mortality. Prev Vet Med doi
  68. (2005). Mellor DJ: The welfare significance of the castration of cattle: A review. doi
  69. (2003). Milk feeding systems for dairy calves in groups: effects on feed intake, growth and health. Appl Anim Behav Sci doi
  70. (2007). ML: Board-invited review: recent advances in management of highly stressed, newly received feedlot cattle. doi
  71. (2001). N: Efficacy of an inactivated respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in calves. doi
  72. (1200). National Animal Health Monitoring System. Fort Collins,
  73. (2008). NC: Effects of alternate weaning methods on behavior, blood metabolites, and performance of beef calves. The Professional Animal Scientist
  74. (2009). Neonatal immunology. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  75. (2006). Oltenacu PA: Morbidity in 3-7-month-old dairy calves in south-western Sweden, and risk factors for diarrhoea and respiratory disease. Prev Vet Med doi
  76. (2009). Osteras O: Respiratory infections in Norwegian dairy calves. doi
  77. (1954). Outdoor individual portable pens compared with conventional housing for raising dairy calves. doi
  78. (1970). Owens MJ: Indoor versus outdoor calf rearing at three weaning ages. doi
  79. (1999). Parrett DF: Comparison of three weaning ages on cow-calf performance and steer carcass traits.
  80. (2007). Part II: Changes in the U.S. Dairy Cattle Industry,
  81. (1978). Performance of newborn dairy calves in hutch housing. doi
  82. (2007). Peters AR: Efficacy of a quadrivalent vaccine against respiratory diseases caused by BHV-1, PI3V, BVDV and BRSV in experimentally infected calves. Vet J doi
  83. (1985). Preconditioning calves for the feedlot. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract
  84. (2010). Prevention of respiratory disease in cow/calf operations. Vet Clin N Am: Food Anim Pract
  85. (2004). Rearing calves outdoors with and without calf jackets compared with indoor housing on calf health and live-weight performance.
  86. (2009). Renter DG: Analysis of modern technologies commonly used in beef cattle production: conventional beef production versus nonconventional production using metaanalysis. doi
  87. (2007). Response of calves to challenge exposure with virulent bovine respiratory syncytial virus following intranasal administration of vaccines formulated for parenteral administration. J Am Vet Med Assoc doi
  88. (2010). Response to experimentally induced infection with bovine respiratory syncytial virus following intranasal vaccination of seropositive and seronegative calves. J Am Vet Med Assoc doi
  89. (1997). RM: An evaluation of two management systems for rearing calves fed milk replacer. doi
  90. (2003). S-O: Morbidity in Swedish dairy calves from birth to 90 days of age and individual calf-level risk factors for infectious diseases. Prev Vet Med doi
  91. (2010). Setting priorities for non-regulatory animal health in Ireland: results from an expert Policy Delphi study and a farmer priority identification survey. Prev Vet Med doi
  92. (2007). Sharra MK: Behaviour of beef calves weaned by traditional, fenceline and two-step methods.
  93. (2011). SJ: Calf health from birth to weaning. I. General aspects of disease prevention. Ir Vet J doi
  94. (2011). SJ: Calf health from birth to weaning. II. Management of diarrhoea in pre-weaned calves. Ir Vet J doi
  95. (2007). SJ: Use of deep nasopharyngeal swabs as a predictive diagnostic method for natural respiratory infections in calves. Vet Rec doi
  96. (1996). SL: Factors associated with mortality to 21 days of life in dairy heifers in the United States. Prev Vet Med doi
  97. (2007). SS: Efficacy of a modified live intranasal bovine respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in 3-week-old calves experimentally challenged with BRSV. Vet J doi
  98. (2008). Swanson JC: Implications of breaking mother-young social bonds. Appl Anim Behav Sci doi
  99. The bronchopneumonias (respiratory disease complex of cattle, sheep, and goats).
  100. (2010). The contribution of infections with bovine viral diarrhea viruses to bovine respiratory disease. Veterinary Clinics of North America Food Animal Practice doi
  101. (2003). The effect of abrupt weaning of suckler calves on the plasma concentrations of cortisol, catecholamines, leukocytes, acute-phase proteins and in vitro interferon-gamma production.
  102. (2006). The effect of group size on health and growth rate of Swedish dairy calves housed in pens with automatic milk-feeders. Prev Vet Med doi
  103. (1991). The microbial flora of the respiratory tract in feedlot calves: associations between nasopharyngeal and bronchoalveolar lavage cultures.
  104. (1983). The relationship of serology and nasal microbiology to pulmonary lesions in feedlot cattle.
  105. (2000). Thiry E: Effects of bovine herpesvirus type 1 infection in calves with maternal antibodies on immune response and virus latency.
  106. (2000). Thiry E: Production of bovine herpesvirus type 1-seronegative latent carriers by administration of a live-attenuated vaccine in passively immunized calves.
  107. (2003). TL: Clinical efficacy of flunixin, carprofen and ketoprofen as adjuncts to the antibacterial treatment of bovine respiratory disease. Vet Rec doi
  108. (2009). TR: How milk-fed dairy calves perform in stable versus dynamic groups. Livest Sci doi
  109. (2010). Trigo E: Immunogenicity of a modified-live virus vaccine against bovine viral diarrhea virus types 1 and 2, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, doi
  110. Use of biologics in the prevention of infectious diseases, Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytca, Pasteurella multocida, and Histophilus somni (Haemophilus somnus).
  111. (2010). Vaccination and risk factors for bovine respiratory disease in dairy heifer calves. doi
  112. (1996). Werdin RE: Descriptive epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in Minnesota dairy heifer calves. Prev Vet Med doi
  113. (2010). White BJ: Metaphylactic antimicrobial therapy for bovine respiratory disease in stocker and feedlot cattle. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract doi
  114. (2001). Why is anti-microbial resistance a veterinary problem as well? doi
  115. (2009). WS: Influence of two-stage weaning with subsequent transport on body weight, plasma lipid peroxidation, plasma selenium, and on leukocyte glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activity in beef calves. Vet Immunol Immunopathol doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.