Latest articles


Meconium staining of newborn calves is a red flag

This spring think of meconium as an early warning sign of many things

As a veterinarian over the past 35 years I’ve been called many times to assist with difficult calvings or malpresentations that resulted in meconium (first manure) stained calves. The jury is still out on what causes this and what we should do about it. Veterinarians have many opinions on this topic, as it is a […] Read more


Keep Q fever in mind this calving season

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Q fever is a potential zoonosis every stock person should keep in mind through calving, lambing and kidding season. The disease, Q fever, and the organism, Coxiella burnetii, when present represent a serious threat to human health. Every gram of afterbirth or fluid from an infected animal contains millions of infectious particles and only a […] Read more



Black Aberdeen Angus cow at pasture in England

Genetic improvement lays the foundation

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay: from the February 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Ask any winemaker how he or she produces a great drinking experience and all reply “It starts in the vineyard.” The same is true of the beef industry. A great beef eating experience starts on the ranch or farm. And just like constantly improving the quality of the grape, it should include upgrading the genetic […] Read more


Improper cervical dilation at calving

Recognizing when it's happening is your first step

One of the hardest calving dilemmas you or your veterinarian face, is improper cervical dilation. Before expulsion of the fetus the cervix normally relaxes, softens and opens up essentially as wide as the vagina to allow the fetus to enter the vaginal vault. When this does not happen normally, or is delayed, the health of […] Read more



cattleman on a horse

A sampler of ranchers’ views on 2017

As might be expected, their plans range from expansion to standing pat and retirement

Rebuilding and expanding herds, or staying about the same — that seems to be what western Canadian ranchers have in mind as they head into 2017. Despite a sharp downturn in the cattle markets in 2016, only one member of this Ranchers’ Panel was talking about downsizing, with retirement in mind. The 2016 fall market […] Read more


Pre-breeding vaccinations for cows and bulls

Health with Heather Smith Thomas

Some diseases affect reproduction, interfering with the cow’s ability to carry a calf to term. It’s best to try to prevent these diseases by making sure cows and bulls have adequate immunity before breeding season. These vaccinations will vary, depending on specific risks in a certain herd, and timing will vary, depending on the calving/breeding […] 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