Kansas, Texas Researchers to Conduct Beef Cattle Production Health Study

Kansas State University and Texas Tech University are seeking feedlots to participate in a feedlot cattle production and health research study.

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Kansas State University and Texas Tech University have teamed up to learn more about feedlot cattle production and health. They are seeking feedlots to participate in the study, which is slated to begin in May.

Researchers will focus on two areas of cattle feeding, according to Dan Thomson, DVM, Ph.D., a member of the collaborative research group and a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University. The two areas: starting cattle on feed and associated risks with bovine respiratory disease and the end of the feeding period focused on performance, carcass quality, fatigued cattle syndrome, heat stress, acute interstitial pneumonia, liver abscesses, cattle transport and others.

The research group will work with feedlots participating in the study to better understand risks associated with acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP) and liver abscesses. A parallel study involves interested feedlots to participate in advanced necropsy training for their feedlot employees in coordination with their consulting veterinarian better understanding acute interstitial pneumonia lesions by sending samples from necropsied cattle to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University.

“AIP cases and liver abscesses are economically crippling issues in our cattle feeding operations,” Dr. Thomson said. “These surveys are important to help us understand risk associated with geography, cattle type, facility design, animal health programs, nutrition programs and weather.”

The team was formed to leverage resources to serve common beef producer and veterinary stakeholders in Kansas and Texas through research that will provide solutions for beef cattle health and production issues like acute interstitial pneumonia in cattle, according to Kansas State University.

“AIP is a recurring and frustrating problem for feedlots,” said Guy Loneragan, BVSc, Ph.D., professor at Texas Tech and a collaborator on team. “It typically affects those animals in their prime close to slaughter. AIP needs a solution, and we hope to provide that for the industry and this survey is an important part of that process.”

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The AIP/liver abscess survey consists of 64 questions. Feedlots that participate will be anonymous. Kansas State University graduate students from this beef research collaboration will set up an appointment and come to the feedlot to visit directly to help facilitate or clarify the point of the questions.

“We have conducted studies of this style in the past for lameness, veterinary recommendations for bovine respiratory disease management and feedlot facility design,” Thomson said. “Past surveys were conducted over the Internet. However, to make sure we get everybody on the same page pertaining to animal health descriptive questions, we would like to have a person on the ground working with the general, cattle or office manager. It will help us get a better answer for the industry.”

To participate in the study, contact Thomson at dthomson@vet.k-state.edu or 785-532-4254.

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