The cost of BRD

Research from IowaStateUniversity, recently reported in the Journal of Animal Science, shows the economic impact of bovine respiratory disease on performance and carcass value in feedlot cattle. Researchers tracked almost 6,000 cattle fed in 10 feedlots over four years, with the cattle originating from across the Midwest and Southeast. They observed BRD in 8.2 percent of all cattle and found evidence of lung lesions in nearly 62 percent of a subsample of 1,665 carcasses. Cattle treated for BRD gained an average of 0.81 pounds per day less than non-treated cattle during the four- to six-week starting period and 0.15 pounds per day less during the full feeding period. At slaughter, treated cattle averaged 24 pounds lighter than non-treated cattle. The treated cattle had lighter carcass weights, smaller ribeye areas, less fat cover and less marbling. Compared to non-treated cattle, carcass value was $23.23 per head lower for those treated once, $30.15 for those treated twice and $54.01 lower for those treated three or more times.

For extensive information on how to prevent, treat and control bovine respiratory disease, visit our BRDResourceCenter at


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