Theses and Dissertations


Min Wang

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Smith, David R.

Committee Member

Wu, Tung-Lung

Committee Member

Epperson, Bill

Committee Member

Wills, Robert W.

Committee Member

Huston, Carla L.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Veterinary Medicine Research

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine


Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a significant health problem for cattle producers in terms of economic cost and animal welfare. In the United States (US), it is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in beef calves prior to weaning. Although much research has been conducted to develop vaccines for prevention and antibiotics for treatment, the morbidity and mortality of BRD in beef calves prior to weaning has not improved over the years. The identification of risk factors associated with BRD is an area of focus which might ultimately allow producers to minimize morbidity and mortality from BRD. Little research has been performed to understand factors contributing to the risk of BRD in beef calves prior to weaning. BRD affects the beef cattle industry through losses due to mortality, prevention cost, treatment cost, or morbidity effect on productivity. Currently, the economic losses due to BRD for beef calves prior to weaning is not available. Price paid for feeder cattle is a major factor influencing the income of producers. The effect of BRD is a complicated problem since the parameters associated with the cost of BRD in beef cow-calf production are variable and interrelated. To better understand the economic effect of BRD in beef calves prior to weaning, concepts of uncertainty, variability, stochasticity, nonlinearity, and feedback might be involved during the process of assessing risk. The objectives of this dissertation are the following: 1) to test if calf sex, birth weight, and age of dam are associated with BRD of beef calves prior to weaning in different age periods; 2) to identify factors affecting the national market price of beef feeder cattle in the US and how the prices change over time; 3) to investigate the prevention and treatment cost of BRD in beef calves prior to weaning; 4) to estimate the economic cost of BRD in US beef calves prior to weaning; and 5) to understand the effect of BRD occurrence or absence on the national net income of the US beef cow-calf industry.