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Table 1 Descriptive statistics and unconditional associations of variables selected as candidates for multivariable model for within-herd calf (aged 21–90 days) mortality rate in years 2017–2018 in 212 Estonian dairy herds estimated in negative binomial regression model

From: Herd-level risk factors for cow and calf on-farm mortality in Estonian dairy herds

VariableContinuousCategoricalnWithin-herd MRap-valueb
Median (Q1; Q3)Categories
Herd size (number of cows)129.7 (53.7; 459.7) 212 0.015
Herd average milk yield per cow per year (kg)8787 (6950; 9758) 212 0.132
Herd proportion of stillbirths (%)7.5 (5.6; 9.5) 212 0.018
Herd proportion of abortions (%)0.8 (0; 1.6) 212  < 0.001
Herd typec Dairy herd1990.260.035
Mixed herd130.09 
Proportion of Holstein breed cows  < 90%890.200.160
 > 90%1190.28 
Missing40.35 
Regiond Northeast590.290.402
Southeast440.19 
Southwest710.26 
Northwest380.22 
Farmer attending trainings within the last 4 years Once490.150.002
2–3 times1080.33 
More than 3 times310.22 
No240.14 
Place of calving Group pen690.320.024
Individual pen410.26 
Tiestall840.21 
Combined or otherf160.07 
Missing2NEe 
Time of feeding the first colostrum (hours after birth) 0.5220.190.149
1870.23 
2690.33 
3170.19 
 ≥ 4120.14 
Calf drinks by itself3NEe 
As soon as possible2NEe 
Disinfecting navel cord No680.210.070
Sometimes510.17 
Always (in more than 95% of calves)930.32 
Prophylactic administration of vitamins to calves No640.220.101
Sometimes700.21 
Yes (in more than 95% of calves)780.31 
Housing of preweaned calves > 2 weeks of age Group pen1700.270.007
Single pen180.18 
Single and group pen230.11 
Missing1NEe 
Disinfection of pens of calves aged < 1 month No390.090.002
Wet disinfectants540.32 
Dry disinfectants770.27 
Wet and dry desinfectants410.28 
Missing30.29 
Frequency of milk feeding per day during first month of life Two times1750.240.141
Three times220.21 
Automatic milk feeder and other150.42 
Antibiotics administered to calves with diarrhoea No870.170.019
Yes1250.30 
Way of responding to questionnaire Postal1270.240.667
Phone850.26 
  1. aWithin-herd mortality rate of calves in years 2017 to 2018 (per 100 calf-months)
  2. bEstimated in bivariable negative binomial regression models including herd number of cows
  3. cDairy herd—at least 75% of cattle were of dairy breed; mixed herd – more than 25% of cattle were of beef breed
  4. dNortheast Estonia: Ida-Viru, Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva, Järva county; Southeast Estonia: Tartu, Valga, Võru, Põlva county; Southwest Estonia: Pärnu, Viljandi, Saare county; Northwest Estonia: Harju, Rapla, Lääne, Hiiu county
  5. eNot estimated due to small number of farms belonging to that category
  6. fOther: calving on pasture and its combinations between other systems