Latest articles

Stress is the enemy with ‘natural’ calves

Natural beef programs limit the use of antibiotics

Limiting the use of growth promotants for raising calves is easy. Just stop using them, accept that you will lose efficiencies, and concentrate on capturing every other advantage. Limiting the use of antibiotics is another story. David Saretsky, who raises cattle and runs a cattle marketing company, Cantriex Livestock, with his family near Ponoka, Alta., […] Read more

Cull or keep? Factors to consider when culling cows

Plus, culling on temperament and maternal behaviour

When culling cows it’s important to have a plan, preferably one that includes pregnancy testing and close evaluation of every cow. Bruce Viney, a risk management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, recalls that when he ran cattle he culled for a lot more reasons than whether or not they were open. “If they have […] Read more

Wintering heifers at Fenton Hereford Ranch

Irma, Alta. operation develops approach that sees cattle thrive during the cold

Al Fenton of Fenton Herefords at Irma, Alta., has raised thousands of replacement heifers and has a pretty good idea about how to feed and grow them into cows. “We use fenceline weaning, which is low stress. We wean in a 10-acre area with cows on one side and calves on the other. It’s a […] Read more

Winter management for replacement heifers

Create a development plan that works for you

Good management of heifers, especially during winter, can make a big difference in their success as cows. Dr. Bart Lardner, research scientist with the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) and adjunct professor in the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan says the traditional recommendation, for the past 40 years, has […] Read more

Watch for urinary stones

Animal Health: Urinary blockages can be more common in early-castrated steers than bulls

Occasionally cattle suffer from kidney stones or bladder stones, just like humans. These are called urinary calculi, and are mineralized clumps in the urinary tract. In cattle, bladder stones are more common than kidney stones. Small ones usually pass out with urine and are not a problem, but sometimes stones become caught and create a […] Read more

Pre-plan for emergency slaughter

Animal Health: An animal’s suffering should be ended as soon as possible

All producers run into the need for emergency slaughter from time to time to preserve the value of an animal and prevent the waste of good meat protein. By its very nature these are emergency situations so it is important to pre-plan the chain of events that would happen in cases when it becomes necessary. […] Read more

The search continues for TB and JD vaccines

Animal Health: Treatment for the elusive diseases grows closer

We could be lucky and find our vaccine candidates for bovine tuberculosis and Johne’s disease within a month, or it could take a year and a half. We hope within a two-year window we will have candidates ready to test out in the field.” These encouraging words come from Dr. Andrew Potter, CEO at the […] Read more

Cow and a Calf

Malignant catarrhal fever — learn about it; guard against it

Animal Health: Most sheep in North America are assumed to be carriers

“It took her piece by piece. Without a doubt it is the most devastating (cattle) disease we have ever dealt with,” says a member of a farm family who finally had to euthanize a valuable young purebred cow after two months of intensive therapy and investigation. Laboratory tests confirmed malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). The only […] Read more