Changes in beef production could be increasing the risk of respiratory issues in cattle

Bovine Respiratory Disease is common in the United States with more than 90 percent of large feedlots reporting it as the most frequent ailment, and researchers say changes in beef production are largely to blame.

Beef specialists with Elanco Animal Health say growth rates have increased as they have seen 700-pound steers at just 7 months old. They note the immune system reacts differently with that kind of growth.

In 2010, finishing weights were about 1,300 pounds, and today, they are averaging 1,600 pounds, but lung capacity has stayed the same.

They urge producers to take action upon the first signs of BRD and check on newly weaned calves twice a day.

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