Baseline management practices and animal health data reported by US feedlots responding to a survey regarding acute interstitial pneumonia
Keywords:animal health, animal husbandry, cattle diseases, feedlots, pneumonia, vaccination
Little is published regarding management practices at US feedlots. As part of a study to characterize management practices related to feedlot acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP), baseline health and management data were collected by a cross-sectional survey sent to 561 feedlots in 21 states. Of 72 surveys (12.8%) returned, 53% came from Kansas and Nebraska. The total number of cattle placed by respondents was 2,495,439, representing approximately 10% of cattle placed in feedlots in 2000. Respondents placed 1,385,644 steers, 1,011,905 heifers, 48,987 Holsteins and 48,903 other cattle. Viral respiratory vaccination was common, while fewer feedlots vaccinated against bacterial respiratory pathogens. Sixty-one percent of respondents practiced mass antimicrobial administration to cattle, although only 17% of all cattle were mass-treated. Hormonal implants were used by 92% of feedlots, and approximately 80% of them used a final implant containing trenbolone acetate (TBA). Heifers were implanted with products containing higher doses of TBA than steers. Monensin and melengestrol acetate were included in the summer finishing diet by 97% and 75% of the respondents, respectively. Sixty-five percent of animals that died received a postmortem examination. Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRD) was the leading cause of morbidity and mortality: 12.8% of placements were treated for BRD, and 0.8% died of BRD. Of all placements, 1.3, 1.6 and 2.6% of cattle were treated for AIP, digestive disorders and all other diseases, respectively; 0.1, 0.3 and 0.2% of placements died of AIP, digestive disorders and all other diseases, respectively.