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VALUE OF SYSTEMATIC THORACIC ULTRASONOGRAPHY INFORMATION FOR DETECTING BOVINE RESPIRATORY DISEASE (BRD) RELATED LUNG DAMAGE IN CROSSBRED DAIRY CALVES
thesisposted on 28.04.2021, 15:32 by Evan Bryant Long
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the value of systematic thoracic ultrasonography (TUS) for detecting bovine respiratory disease (BRD) related lung damage in Holstein x Angus crossbred calves. Because the dairy industry is known to operate on small profit margins, it is important to assess the potential of this technology to help prevent the main source of financial loss related to calf production that dairy producers face. Studies have shown that BRD may impact nearly a fourth of all dairy calves before weaning. In an industry that is currently growing and evolving, it is important that producers have all the necessary resources to operate efficiently. TUS is known to be a quick and accurate predictor of BRD related lung damage, but this study focuses on the financial implications of BRD related lung damage on calf growth and efficiency—average daily gain (ADG) and milk-to-gain (M:G)—and the value of implementing TUS information to make sound management decisions. TUS along with BRD diagnosis information give producers a unique perspective on future growth and development of calves and could be part of the solution to promote larger profit margins for dairy producers. We find that the value associated with TUS and BRD diagnosis information is between $0.88/head and $13.44/head and depends on BRD incidence rate, feed price, and feeder price. Depending on the cost to the farm, it may be beneficial to implement this as a way to manage BRD damage, which we know to influence calf growth and efficiency.