Effects of environment and management on mortality in preweaned dairy calves

Susan E. Lance From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Gay Y. Miller From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Dale D. Hancock From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Paul C. Bartlett From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Lawrence E. Heider From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Melvin L. Moeschberger From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Lance, Miller, Bartlett, Heider), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (Hancock), and the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Moeschberger).

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Summary

Forty-eight herds participating in the 1988/1989 Ohio National Animal Health Monitoring System dairy project were monitored for 1 year to determine the effects of environment and management on mortality in preweaned calves. Environmental factors were evaluated by veterinarians during monthly visits to the herds. Management procedures were measured through the use of a questionnaire administered near the end of the project. Mortality in preweaned calves was calculated for each herd by using data from project records on calf mortality and animal inventory, which were collected monthly by veterinarians. Relationships between the management/environment variables and calf mortality were examined by use of analysis of covariance. Herd size, days on a nipple feeder, navel disinfection, type of housing, and whether each calf observed with diarrhea was treated with antibiotics were the variables that had an impact on herd mortality. These variables explained approximately 39% of the variation in mortality among herds.

Summary

Forty-eight herds participating in the 1988/1989 Ohio National Animal Health Monitoring System dairy project were monitored for 1 year to determine the effects of environment and management on mortality in preweaned calves. Environmental factors were evaluated by veterinarians during monthly visits to the herds. Management procedures were measured through the use of a questionnaire administered near the end of the project. Mortality in preweaned calves was calculated for each herd by using data from project records on calf mortality and animal inventory, which were collected monthly by veterinarians. Relationships between the management/environment variables and calf mortality were examined by use of analysis of covariance. Herd size, days on a nipple feeder, navel disinfection, type of housing, and whether each calf observed with diarrhea was treated with antibiotics were the variables that had an impact on herd mortality. These variables explained approximately 39% of the variation in mortality among herds.

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