Pre-Weaning Morbidity and Mortality of Crossbred Calves in Bahir Dar Zuria and Gozamen Districts of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia


A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2009 to August 2010 with the objective of determining calf morbidity and mortality rates, to investigate the potential risk factors for mortality and morbidity and to determine the type and prevalence of major diseases of crossbred calves in Bahir Dar Zuria and Gozamen districts of Amhara Region. A total of 148 respondents engaged in small holder crossbred dairying were interviewed using a structured questionnaire survey about their calf management practices and major calf health problems encountered. About 396 crossbred calves were considered for this study. The overall magnitude of morbidity and mortality rates of crossbred calves were 58.4% and 30.7%, respectively. Higher mortality of crossbred calves was found in Gozamen district (39.6 %) than in Bahir Dar Zuria district (29.9 %). The major calf diseases found were diarrhea (21.4%), pneumonia (18.6%), septicemic conditions (12.4%) and navel ill (8.1%) and miscellaneous cases (39.5%). Risk factors such as study location, blood level, age, colostrum feeding and time of colostrum feeding were found to have statistically significant (p < 0.05) effects on crossbred calf mortality rate in both districts. Exotic genetic influence, age, colostrum feeding and time of colostrum feeding were also the major risk factors found statistically significant (p < 0.05) to affect calf morbidity. In conclusion, the magnitude of calf morbidity and mortality rates found in this study were much higher than economically tolerable level and could affect the productivity of the dairy farms through mainly decreasing the availability of replacement stock. It is therefore, suggested that implementation of improved calf management practices and optimization of more adaptable blood level of crossbred cattle in the study areas would significantly reduce calf mortality and morbidity.

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Ferede, Y. , Mazengia, H. , Bimrew, T. , Bitew, A. , Nega, M. and Kebede, A. (2014) Pre-Weaning Morbidity and Mortality of Crossbred Calves in Bahir Dar Zuria and Gozamen Districts of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia. Open Access Library Journal, 1, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1100600.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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