Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2001


Published in Nebraska Beef Cattle Report 2001, published by Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


This study was designed to discover relationships between characteristics of feedlot pens and the percentage of cattle shedding Escherichia coli O157:H7. Twenty-nine pens from five Midwestern feedlots were each sampled once between June and September, 1999. Feces were collected from all cattle in each pen. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from the feces of 714 of 3162 cattle tested (23%), including at least one animal from each of the 29 pens. Pen prevalence did not differ between feedyards, but did vary widely within feedyards. Muddy pens were more likely to have a higher pen prevalence than normal pens.