KansasStateUniversity researchers recently discussed results of a research project that analyzed what impact a calf’s location on a truck might have on its performance in a backgrounding operation. Calves from multiple sources were commingled in Tennessee and shipped to Manhattan, Kan. Upon arrival, the calves were identified by which truck compartment they rode in and were backgrounded for 45 to 60 days.  Performance measurements, including weight and any illnesses, were recorded throughout the backgrounding period. The researchers conducted an analysis to determine any associations between animal location on the truck and subsequent health outcomes.

The results indicated no significant relationships between the compartment of the vehicle, or whether the cattle rode on the top or bottom deck, and the probability of initial treatment or mortality. The researchers, however, did find that cattle that rode in the middle section of the truck had a higher probability of being treated at least once compared with cattle in the most forward sections. Calves in the rear compartments had lower average daily gain from arrival to reweigh compared with cattle that rode in the middle or forward sections.

The researchers concluded that this project did demonstrate some associations between calf health and where they ride in a transport vehicle; however, more research should be done to better characterize these relationships. For more, click here.