Latest articles


Have you herd? You have to move it

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

herd | noun – a large group of animals that live, feed, or migrate together or are kept together verb – (with reference to a large group of people or animals) move in a particular direction When you read the above definitions, you may think of a herd of livestock grazing out on a hillside. […] Read more


Which bull sired that calf?

Parentage testing in multi-sire pastures goes under the microscope

Collecting DNA samples for parentage testing from bulls and the resulting calves from multi-sire breeding pastures is the only way to find out each bull’s value to your operation. A bull might come with a great package of traits you want to see passed to your calves, but the bull’s value is questionable if the […] Read more



Calving at Tannas Ranch

A family-run, fourth-generation ranch in Alberta

Mark and Ingrid Tannas, their son Luke and his wife Ceanna run 300 purebred Angus and 125 commercial cows at their ranch west of Water Valley, Alta. Mark is the fourth generation on the ranch. “Our family has been here about 50 years, and we built our first calving barn about 40 years ago. It […] Read more


Calf health: The diarrhea diaries

The definition of scours is diarrhea, but diarrhea alone only means the calf has loose feces. The important question when a calf has diarrhea is whether it is making the calf sick. “It’s not as simple as saying, the calf has diarrhea, therefore, it has scours. You need to compare groups of observations, consider the […] Read more




Dealing with broken bones in calves

There are many options for setting a broken bone

Occasionally cattle suffer fractures, and it’s generally a leg bone. Often it’s a young or newborn calf, and the fractured limb should be cast or splinted for proper healing. When Dr. Andy Acton with Deep South Animal Clinic at Ogema, Sask., gets a phone call from a producer about a possible fracture, he asks about […] Read more



Extra equipment for your calving kit

Calving/Equipment with Roy Lewis, DVM

Just as a good mechanic has specific tools for specific jobs you too need specialized equipment during calving season. Each piece should be clean, disinfected and accessible when calving, and a little practice with this equipment beforehand is always beneficial. You may not need these particular tools often, but when you do they can save […] Read more


Calving fits with year-round grazing at Chinook Ranch

Longview, Alta. ranch in operation since 1950

Stephen Hughes raises beef cattle near Longview, in southwestern Alberta. “Our family has been here since the late 1940s. My grandfather came from England in 1928 and had this ranch put together by 1950. My dad, Jim, is still involved in the day-to-day management of the ranch. I am third generation, and when I got […] Read more



A simple vigour test for newborns

Give it two fingers to suck… that’s step one

Two simple observations at birth can tell you whether a newborn calf has the vigour to quickly suckle enough colostrum to achieve the protection of passive immunity. “Measuring calving ease and suckle reflex is a quick and easy method to identify beef calves that are unlikely to consume colostrum by four hours after birth,” says […] Read more


The eye in the sky is watching your cows

In the mid-’70s, as a research scientist at the Melfort Research Station, I helped Saskatchewan Agriculture evaluate the first button-type electronic ear tags on our cows at the Pathlow pasture research project. At the time, I also had a big satellite remote sensing project to monitor pasture productivity. I would tell my colleagues that our […] Read more