Regional management practices and prevalence of bovine respiratory disease in California's preweaned dairy calves

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in California preweaned dairy calves and identify management practices that are associated with BRD. A convenience sample of 100 dairies in the 3 distinct dairy regions of California was surveyed. Regions evaluated were Northern California (NCA), northern San Joaquin Valley (NSJV), and greater Southern California (GSCA). A questionnaire on calf management practices and demographic information was administered via in-person interviews at each dairy and a random sample of preweaned calves was evaluated using the California BRD scoring system on the same day. Prevalence of BRD varied between the 3 dairy regions: 9.30% in NCA, 4.51% in NSJV, and 7.35% in GSCA. Breed was not associated with BRD prevalence at the statewide level, but differences in prevalence were observed between breeds across the regions with a higher prevalence in NCA for Jerseys and in GSCA for Holsteins, compared with NSJV. Prevalence of BRD was not different between organic and conventional dairies. Colostrum management practices, including heat treatment and feeding colostrum from multiparous cows, varied by region and were associated with lower BRD prevalence. Calves housed in group pens, a practice observed primarily in NCA, had a higher BRD prevalence than those in individual housing. Feeding salable milk was also more common in NCA and was associated with lower BRD prevalence. Ground and road surfaces adjacent to the calf raising area were also variable by region, and paved surfaces were associated with lower BRD prevalence. Management practices associated with BRD varied across the state and may be addressed to inform the adoption and implementation of potentially protective management decisions on California dairies and other regions with similar dairy systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • bovine respiratory disease
  • California
  • dairy calf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional management practices and prevalence of bovine respiratory disease in California's preweaned dairy calves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this