Top 10 causes of death in a beef herd

Pneumonia and clostridial diseases are two of the main causes of death in beef cattle, according to the latest Eblex research.

The most common cause of death in calves was unknown, bacterial pneumonia ranked top in growing cattle, while in suckler cows the biggest cause was clostridial disease.

The findings were from a year-long Fallen Stock project, which offered farmers subsidised post-mortems at a collection centre in County Durham.

See also: Eblex backs beef and sheep post-mortem service

The results were from post-mortems carried out on more than 200 calves (up to six months old), nearly 100 growing and finishing cattle and about 100 suckler cows.

beef deaths

“No diagnosis” is common as it is sometimes not cost-effective to carry out further lab testing to establish an exact cause of death. In these cases the aim is to rule out common infectious or contagious diseases.

The post-mortem service carried out at the Hamsterley collection centre, County Durham, will continue, however it will no longer be subsidised by Eblex.

Since the trial has successfully proven a useful tool in knowledge transfer, the hope now is to roll the service out to other collection centres across the country.

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