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Factors associated with morbidity and mortality in feedlot calves: the Bruce County beef project, year two.

By S W Martin, A H Meek, D G Davis, J A Johnson and R A Curtis


The results of the second year of the project confirmed most of the major findings from the initial year. Feeding cornsilage, particularly as the major roughage in the first month after arrival was associated with excess mortality. Mixing of cattle from different sources and vaccinating against respiratory disease appeared to be the most important additional factors that increased mortality rates. Delaying vaccination at least two days postarrival may have prevented the negative effects of vaccination but only in calves fed cornsilage. Morbidity rates were highly variable among farms but were positively correlated with mortality rates and treatment costs. The occurrence of infectious thromboembolic meningoencephalitis appeared to share some of the same risk factors as mortality; whereas, urolithiasis did not. Water deprivation may be a risk factor in the occurrence of urolithiasis. Fibrinous pneumonia was again the most frequent cause of death. Relative to year one, infectious thromboembolic meningoencephalitis increased in frequency and only one death was attributed to bovine virus diarrhea

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