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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Production

Determination of value of bovine respiratory disease control using a remote early disease identification system compared with conventional methods of metaphylaxis and visual observations1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 93 No. 8, p. 4115-4122
    Received: Mar 07, 2015
    Accepted: June 11, 2015
    Published: July 24, 2015

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. B. J. White 2*†,
  2. D. E. Amrine* and
  3. D. R. Goehl*
  1. * Precision Animal Solutions, LLC, 210 Southwind Rd., Suite 204, Manhattan KS 66503
     Kansas State University, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, Manhattan 66506


Mitigation of the deleterious effects of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is an important issue in the cattle industry. Conventional management of calves at high risk for BRD often includes mass treatment with antimicrobials at arrival followed by visual observation for individual clinical cases. These methods have proven effective; however, control program efficacy is influenced by the accuracy of visual observation. A remote early disease identification (REDI) system has been described that monitors cattle behavior to identify potential BRD cases. The objective of this research was to compare health and performance outcomes using either traditional BRD control (visual observation and metaphylaxis) or REDI during a 60-d postarrival phase in high-risk beef calves. The randomized controlled clinical trial was performed in 8 replicates at 3 different facilities over a 19-mo period. In each replicate, a single load of calves was randomly allocated to receive either conventional management (CONV; total n = 8) or REDI (total n = 8) as the method for BRD control. Cattle were monitored with each diagnostic method for the first 30 d on feed and performance variables were collected until approximately 60 d after arrival. Statistical differences (P < 0.10) were not identified in common performance (ADG) or health (morbidity, first treatment success, and mortality risk) among the treatment groups. Calves in the REDI pens had a lower (P < 0.01) average number of days on feed at first treatment (9.1 ± 1.2 d) compared with CONV pens (15.8 ± 1.2 d). There were no statistical differences (P > 0.10) in risk of BRD treatment and REDI calves were not administered antimicrobials at arrival; therefore, REDI calves had a lower (P < 0.01) average number of doses of antimicrobials/calf (0.75 ± 0.1 doses) compared with CONV calves (1.67 ± 0.1 doses). In this trial, the REDI system was comparable to conventional management with the potential advantages of earlier BRD diagnosis and decreased use of antimicrobials. Further research should be performed to evaluate the longer-term impacts of the 2 systems.

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