Epidemiology of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in preweaned calves on California dairies: The BRD 10K study

S. A. Dubrovsky, A. L. Van Eenennaam, B. M. Karle, P. V. Rossitto, Terry W Lehenbauer, Sharif S Aly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is one of the leading causes of death in dairy heifers. The objective of this prospective cohort study was to characterize the epidemiology of BRD in preweaned dairy calves and to identify management practices associated with decreased risk of BRD. Dairies were chosen for the study based on management practices, location, size, and willingness to participate. A total of 6 dairies, ranging in size from 700 to 3,200 milking cows, in 6 counties across California's Central Valley, were enrolled in the study for at least 1 year. A total of 11,945 calves were born on the study dairies and followed until weaning. Incidence of BRD was estimated using treatment records. Trained study personnel performed comprehensive calf management surveys and estimated BRD prevalence on every dairy at least once every season. A shared frailty model was used to model the associations between management practices and BRD hazard. The final models included data from complete records of 11,470 calves. The overall BRD study period prevalence across the study herds was 22.8%. The mean BRD incidence density rate on all the study dairies was 0.17 BRD cases [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.16–1.74] per calf-month at risk. The shared frailty model identified that feeding only waste or saleable milk (compared with use of milk replacer), feeding over 3.8 L of milk per day to calves under 21 d of age, frequent changing of maternity pen bedding, and administration of modified live or killed BRD vaccines to dams before calving significantly reduced the risk of BRD. Risk factors for BRD included housing calves in wooden hutches with metal roofs, compared with all-wood hutches, twin births, and perception of dust occurring “regularly,” as reported by calf managers, compared with a perception of “no dust” in the calf-raising area. All 4 seasons were analyzed, and both summer (hazard ratio = 1.15; 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.32) and spring (hazard ratio = 1.26; 95% CI = 1.11 to 1.44) were associated with a higher risk of BRD compared with winter. The current longitudinal study identified specific housing and feeding practices that could be modified to decrease risk of BRD. In addition, season was observed to have a strong effect on calves' risk of developing BRD on California dairies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Cattle Diseases
bovine respiratory disease
epidemiology
dairies
Epidemiology
calves
Practice Management
confidence interval
Milk
Confidence Intervals
Dust
dust
calf housing
Central Valley of California
incidence
milk
milk replacer
dairy heifers
dairy calves
disease prevalence

Keywords

  • bovine respiratory disease
  • dairy calf
  • epidemiology
  • pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Epidemiology of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in preweaned calves on California dairies : The BRD 10K study. / Dubrovsky, S. A.; Van Eenennaam, A. L.; Karle, B. M.; Rossitto, P. V.; Lehenbauer, Terry W; Aly, Sharif S.

In: Journal of Dairy Science, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is one of the leading causes of death in dairy heifers. The objective of this prospective cohort study was to characterize the epidemiology of BRD in preweaned dairy calves and to identify management practices associated with decreased risk of BRD. Dairies were chosen for the study based on management practices, location, size, and willingness to participate. A total of 6 dairies, ranging in size from 700 to 3,200 milking cows, in 6 counties across California's Central Valley, were enrolled in the study for at least 1 year. A total of 11,945 calves were born on the study dairies and followed until weaning. Incidence of BRD was estimated using treatment records. Trained study personnel performed comprehensive calf management surveys and estimated BRD prevalence on every dairy at least once every season. A shared frailty model was used to model the associations between management practices and BRD hazard. The final models included data from complete records of 11,470 calves. The overall BRD study period prevalence across the study herds was 22.8{\%}. The mean BRD incidence density rate on all the study dairies was 0.17 BRD cases [95{\%} confidence interval (CI) = 0.16–1.74] per calf-month at risk. The shared frailty model identified that feeding only waste or saleable milk (compared with use of milk replacer), feeding over 3.8 L of milk per day to calves under 21 d of age, frequent changing of maternity pen bedding, and administration of modified live or killed BRD vaccines to dams before calving significantly reduced the risk of BRD. Risk factors for BRD included housing calves in wooden hutches with metal roofs, compared with all-wood hutches, twin births, and perception of dust occurring “regularly,” as reported by calf managers, compared with a perception of “no dust” in the calf-raising area. All 4 seasons were analyzed, and both summer (hazard ratio = 1.15; 95{\%} CI = 1.01 to 1.32) and spring (hazard ratio = 1.26; 95{\%} CI = 1.11 to 1.44) were associated with a higher risk of BRD compared with winter. The current longitudinal study identified specific housing and feeding practices that could be modified to decrease risk of BRD. In addition, season was observed to have a strong effect on calves' risk of developing BRD on California dairies.",
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