1997, Number 3
Management practices associated with calf mortality rate in dairies in Tijuana, Baja Califonia, Mexico Pau Pijoan Aguadé
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ABSTRACTA total of 38 dairies, near Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, were surveyed in order to record their calf raising practices. The total number of cows in these dairies was 13,828, with an average per dairy of 365.7 ± 19.69 (x ± S.E.M.). Average mortality rate in these farms was estimated at 25.94 ± 6.16% (x ± S.E.M.). In 24 and 14 dairies surveyed, the main reported cause of death was pneumonia and scouring, respectively. The consistency of carrying out 8 calf management practices was evaluated in each dairy through a questionnaire. This data coincides with currently accepted recommendations for effective calf management. Results indicate that calving management was deficiently carried out in most dairies (28). Similarly, in 18 farms, calf housing and vaccination programs were considered ineffective. In addition, 12 dairies had a deficient colostrum management program. It is concluded that calf mortality is a serious problem for this regional dairy industry. Furthermore, it seems that additional studies may be needed in order to determine both the relative importante of various management practices and the way these practices are interrelated, and in festimating how profitable these practices are to the dairy farm.
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