As part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS ), USDA:APHIS:Veterinary Services conducted a national study of beef production, the Beef Cow/Calf Health and Productivity Audit (CHAPA). This study was designed to provide both participants and the industry with information on cow/calf health, productivity, and management practices. Data for Part 1: Beef Cow/Calf Herd Management Practices in the United States, were collected from beef producers September 29 through October 9, 1992. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collaborated with VS to select a statistically designed producer sample that represented all U.S. cow/calf operations in the 48 continental United States. Eighty-one percent of operations had commercial cattle only. Approximately 92 percent of cows that were exposed to a bull or artificially inseminated gave birth to calves. Two percent of calves born to cows died prior to 3 weeks of age; four percent of calves born to replacement heifers died prior to 3 weeks of age. Five percent of calves developed scours prior to weaning. Fifty-nine percent of cows were on operations using branding or other overall herd identification. For operations using branding, 49 percent branded on the upper hip. Seventy-nine percent of cows were on operations where preventive injections had been given by the operator or a worker within the last 12 months. The main site for intramuscular injections was the upper hip (24 percent of cows); the main site for subcutaneous injections was the neck (42 percent of cows). Eighty-one percent of male calves were castrated before sale. The most frequently practiced method of castration was surgical removal of the testicle (54 percent of operations). Twenty-nine percent of calves were horned (nonpolled); seventy-one percent of these were dehorned. The average weaning age of calves was 214 days. Contact for this paper: David Dargatz


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