Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Karisch, Brandi B.

Committee Member

Smith, Trent

Committee Member

Smith, David R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Animal Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


These study objectives were to evaluate the effects of: initial bodyweight, energy supplementation, distance and days traveled and hair coat shedding on performance and health. Crossbred heifers (n=120) were purchased as either lightweight (136 kg) or heavyweight (226 kg) calves. Factors affecting morbidity and growth were tested using Poisson or linear regression (PROC GLIMMIX), with a correlation structure defining clustering by pen. Incidence density was 53.7/103 calf-days and 19.0/103 calf-days for light and heavy initial BW, respectively. Lightweight calves were 2.8 times more likely to be treated for BRD (p=0.02) and each increase in hair shed score increased risk for BRD 1.6 times (p=0.04). Initial BW did not affect gain (P=0.573), but heifers receiving supplementation gained 5.84 kg more than heifers not receiving supplement (P=0.005). Cattle that received LOW HS (n=14) had higher total gain (P=.00016), and ADG (P=.00016) compared to cattle receiving shedding classification of MED to HIGH (n=106).