A case-control study was conducted to determine risk factors for fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (ECO) in dairy calves. Three herds previously found to lack calves that shed ECO in their feces were selected for each herd previously found to have calves that shed ECO. Fecal samples from 965 calves on 64 farms were tested for ECO by microbial culture. Sample prevalence of ECO in calves less than 8 weeks old was 1.4% and in calves 8 weeks or older was 4.8%. Calves were 3 times more likely to shed ECO after weaning than before weaning. Shedding of ECO was associated with grouping calves before weaning; feeding whole cottonseed was negatively associated with ECO shedding. The change in results between testing periods illustrated that an individual herd's status cannot be defined by a single testing of a small sample of cattle.