Use of Risk Factors to Alter Management for Reduction of Neonatal Calf Diarrhea Incidence

  • Mel Pence (Iowa State University)
  • John U. Thomson (Iowa State University)
  • Doyle Wilson (Iowa State University)
  • Gene Rouse (Iowa State University)
  • Ron Sealock (Iowa State University)


Risk factors associated with calf diarrhea were identified and management strategies were developed to reduce the impact of these risk factors on the incidence of disease. Five hundred forty-one females were bred to calve between March 3 and May 15, 1998. Risk factors identified included: parity, the different origin of the groups of cattle, weather, poor body condition score, and intensity of calving. These cattle were forty-six percent first calf heifers, the remainder of the cattle were mature cows. The heifers were from five different sources, and the mature cows were from the ISU Rhodes farm. The groups had never been commingled. The body condition scores of the cattle averaged below five, and there was a high maintenance requirement because of muddy conditions and frequent wet hair coats due to the continuing rains. Two hundred of the heifers were bred to calve in twenty-six days, and the first one hundred ninety-five cows were due to calve in a total of thirty days. Procedures were developed to allow a one-way flow of the cow/calf pairs through calving areas to reduce the contact of the calves with possible large numbers of pathogens and separate first parity heifers from the mature cows.

Keywords: ASL R1649

How to Cite:

Pence, M., Thomson, J. U., Wilson, D., Rouse, G. & Sealock, R., (2000) “Use of Risk Factors to Alter Management for Reduction of Neonatal Calf Diarrhea Incidence”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2000
Peer Reviewed