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  • Author or Editor: Krista K. Holstein x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine the relationship between rectal temperature at first treatment for bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) in feedlot calves and the probability of not finishing the production cycle.

Design—Retrospective data analysis.

Animals—344,982 calves identified as having BRDC from 19 US feedlots from 2000 to 2009.

Procedures—For each calf, data for rectal temperature at initial treatment for BRDC and various performance and outcome variables were analyzed. A binary variable was created to identify calves that did not finish (DNF) the production cycle (died or culled prior to cohort slaughter). A mixed general linear model and receiver operating characteristic curve were created to evaluate associations of rectal temperature, number of days in the feedlot at time of BRDC diagnosis, body weight, quarter of year at feedlot arrival, sex, and all 2-way interactions with rectal temperature with the probability that calves DNF.

Results—27,495 of 344,982 (7.97%) calves DNF. Mean rectal temperature at first treatment for BRDC was 40.0°C (104°F). As rectal temperature increased, the probability that a calf DNF increased; however, that relationship was not linear and was influenced by quarter of year at feedlot arrival, sex, and number of days in the feedlot at time of BRDC diagnosis. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for correct identification of a calf that DNF was 0.646.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Rectal temperature of feedlot calves at first treatment for BRDC had limited value as a prognostic indicator of whether those calves would finish the production cycle.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association