GFM Network News

This newborn calving is resting on fresh straw bedding. (NDSU photo)

Preparing for spring calving

Planning and preparing for the calving season can help not only minimize calf losses but also improve calves’ performance, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists. The nutrition status of the calving herd is one issue to consider in preparing for the upcoming spring calving season. “Although this should be an earlier concern, […] Read more

Barking calf.

Necrotic laryngitis or calf diphtheria (barker calves)

Veterinarians use various treatments depending on what they've found is most effective

I am sure most producers over the years have had calves develop a throat infection on a sporadic basis. These are the calves which have an extremely loud, inspiratory and expiratory sound which can be heard across the pen. They generally extended their neck to breathe and are in various forms of respiratory distress. The […] Read more

Five steps to a successful calving season

Preparations in advance makes calving season both easier on you and your herd

Calving season is an exciting time of year in most operations. It is exciting to see new calves hitting the ground, but it can also be exciting in more of a pending emergency sort of way. Most herds that have successful, low-drama calving seasons have several things in common, regardless of their calving season, most […] Read more

Pocket record book for the year.

Saskatchewan’s 21-Day Calving Challenge

… a calving record book with a twist

There are three $1,000 vouchers for mineral supplement up for grabs in the Saskatchewan 21-Day Calving Challenge, but everyone is a winner year after year just by paying attention to the reproductive success of their cow herds. The simplest and most effective way to do that is to track calving distribution by counting the number […] Read more

When a calf is suckling, the ingested material
is shunted directly into the abomasum, which facilitates absorption of the antibodies

What you need to know about colostrum for beef calves

With cattle prices at historic highs, it’s important to get the 2015 calf crop off to a great start and minimize sickness and death. Most cattle producers know that colostrum is important for calves; this article will briefly review background information regarding colostrum, and provide some practical tips. Colostrum is a critical source of antibodies, […] Read more

Calf Planting

Cows are on high alert after calving, so this planting behavior impacts how and when groups of cattle can be moved or at least easily moved.

NDSU Extension Service – As the Dickinson Research Extension Center winds up May calving, the year has been good. May calving involves pastures, grass and space. Because feed is not delivered in a bunk, the cow decides where she wants to be in the pasture and sets in motion a series of thoughts that anchor […] Read more

Calving Tips and Tales

Mom and Pet I am writing to tell you a story about a special woman and a remarkable cow. My mom’s name was Loretta Jean and for the 64 years that she lived she almost always had cattle. Her pride and joy was her favourite cow named Pet, a Charolais-Tarentaise cross. Pet was born in […] Read more

Late Weaning

One of the highest input costs when raising cattle is winter feeding. Some ranchers are shaving winter feed costs and labour by wintering their summer-born calves with the cows and not weaning the calves until spring. Dr. Joseph Stookey, a professor of animal behaviour at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, has a […] Read more

Limb problems in newborn calves

Know the proper practices and intervention techniques to avoid injuries to calves

Occasionally a calf is born with crooked legs, lax or contracted tendons or some other abnormality that may need care. Some situations straighten on their own with time and exercise, while others require intervention, and some defects are so severe the calf must be euthanized. In other situations a newborn calf may suffer a fractured […] Read more

Tips for warming cold or frozen newborn calves

Any calf with a temperature below 37.7 C (100 F) needs assistance and warming. There are several ways to safely warm calves, and the methods you choose will generally depend on your facilities

Precautions with Hot Water The quickest way to thaw a frozen calf is with warm water, but if you use this method make sure the water is not too hot. If it’s very much above normal body temperature, it may damage the skin — which is already compromised if it’s been frostbitten. Rapid thaw at […] Read more