The constant yet unpredictable threat of BRD can be maddening and devastating for ranchers and feeders alike. BRD is the most deadly and costly disease for producers, accounting for 37 percent1 of the mortality in calves over 3 weeks of age on cow/calf operations and 57 percent2 in feedlots – despite years of advances in managerial practices, vaccines and clinical therapies. In addition, a growing desire and industry pressure to reduce overall antibiotic use has only added to the challenge.
The fact is, BRD is in many ways a result of the way the U.S. cattle industry is set up. From birth to auction market and stocker to feedyard, animals travel from location to location, commingling with other animals in new environments. These changes and related stressors can have a big impact on animals’ ability to fight off diseases such as BRD.