Management factors associated with bovine respiratory disease in preweaned calves on California dairies: The BRD 100 study

G. U. Maier, W. J. Love, B. M. Karle, S. A. Dubrovsky, D. R. Williams, J. D. Champagne, R. J. Anderson, J. D. Rowe, T. W. Lehenbauer, A. L. Van Eenennaam, S. S. Aly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine how management practices on California dairies may be associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in preweaned calves. A convenience sample of 100 dairies throughout California, providing a study population of 4,636 calves, were visited between May 2014 and April 2016. During each farm visit, in-person interviews with the herd manager or calf caretaker were conducted to collect information about herd demographics, maternity pen, colostrum and calf management, herd vaccinations, and dust abatement. A random sample of preweaned calves was identified and evaluated for the presence of BRD using a standardized tool. A survey-adjusted generalized linear mixed model with a logit link function was fitted with calf as the unit of analysis and dairy as the random effect. Mean study herd size (±SE) was 1,718 (±189.9) cows. Survey-adjusted estimates of breed types in the sample were 81.6% (±0.6) Holstein, 13.1% (±0.4) Jersey, and 5.3% (±0.5) crossbred or other purebred breeds, and calf sex proportions were 73.8% (±1.0) female and 26.2% (±1.0) male. Overall survey-adjusted BRD prevalence in the study herds was 6.91% (±0.69). Housing factors positively associated with BRD were metal hutches compared with wood hutches [odds ratio (OR) = 11.19; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.80–44.78], calf-to-calf contact in calves >75 d of age (OR = 9.95, 95% CI = 1.50–65.86), feeding Holstein calves <2.84 L of milk or replacer per day (OR = 7.16, 95% CI = 1.23–41.68), and lagoon water used for flushing manure under hutches compared with no flush (OR = 12.06, 95% CI = 1.93–75.47). Providing extra shade over hutches (OR = 0.08; 95% CI = 0.02–0.37), feeding calves at least 90% saleable milk (OR = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.13–0.54) or pasteurized milk (OR = 0.10; 95% CI = 0.03–0.36), and feeding >5.68 L of milk or replacer per day to Jersey calves (OR = 0.04; 95% CI = 0.01–0.28) were negatively associated with BRD. Our study identified management practices on California dairies with variability and that may contribute to differences in BRD prevalence, which will be incorporated into a risk-assessment tool to control and prevent BRD in preweaned dairy calves.

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


  • bovine respiratory disease
  • dairy calf
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Management factors associated with bovine respiratory disease in preweaned calves on California dairies: The BRD 100 study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this