Latest articles


Fuelling up cows for cold weather and calving

Health: A cow's body condition is closely linked to calving success

It takes a North American prairie cold snap, those first two to three weeks of real winter when outside temperatures plummet where Fahrenheit and Centigrade meet below zero, for beef specialists to dust off and publish articles on managing cows through cold — the -40 C kind. They all make valid points; gentle reminders for […] Read more


First EPDs for udder and teat conformation in the works

Angus herds studied for desirable traits to improve genetic selection

That first feeding of colostrum invariably charts the course for a calf’s future success and profitability. Knowing that the dam’s udder and teat structure is important to a successful first feeding Kajal Devani, is aiming to improve the genetic selection for improved mammary conformation in Canadian Angus cattle. Devani, who is the Canadian Angus Association’s […] Read more



Keep a sharp eye on cow fertility

A happy medium can be found between fertility and performance, says Alberta vet

There are several factors that play a role in cow fertility and some of them are interrelated. Whether or not a heifer will breed quickly (reaching puberty at a young age) or a cow will breed back in a timely fashion after calving and become pregnant will depend on a combination of genetics, nutrition, health, […] Read more


Grass lures beef production to Northern Ontario

Raising cattle in the rural outreaches has its benefits and challenges

Ontario cattlemen and the province have begun several programs to encourage more farmers to start raising beef in northern Ontario — where it is colder and the land is more suited to bush and cattle than corn and soybeans. Interest from producers considering a move north has been gaining momentum, and in mid-August 2017, the […] Read more



Calf health closely tied to cow nutrition

Six problems you may see with calves if cow nutrition is compromised

Many cows came home in 2017 from pastures parched by drought for much of the grazing season. Without proper supplementation of brood cows through the rest of their gestation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies will show up as health issues next spring with economic consequences that often persist for several more. It is well established that […] Read more


Some thoughts on calving shelter

In cold climates calving barns are necessary for early calving — as some ranchers must do, to calve and breed before going to summer pastures. Some ranchers prefer to have the calves big enough to utilize summer grass. Others calve early so they can have their cows all bred at home before they go to […] Read more



Tips on when and how to check that very pregnant cow

Calving Management: Dr. Cody Creelman goes over the three stages of labour

Most cows and heifers progress normally through the three stages of labour (early labour, active labour with abdominal straining, expulsion of the placenta after delivery of the calf). Uterine contractions in early labour get the calf aimed toward the birth canal, the cervix dilates and the calf starts through. The water sac and then the […] Read more


Factors that hinder calf immunity

Calving Health with Heather Smith Thomas

Illness occurs when an animal’s body is overwhelmed by infection. A healthy animal with strong immunity is less likely to become sick than an animal with poor immunity. Immunity refers to the body’s ability to fight off pathogens, and this ability is developed in a complex process in which the body creates specific weapons for […] Read more



BVD testing in cattle

How cattle can be exposed and what measures to take if they test positive

BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) virus is a tricky pathogen that can affect cattle in different ways. It can cause abortion, mummification of a fetus, birth defects, stillborn full-term calves, normal-looking calves with immune deficiencies, and acute or chronic illness. BVD is an indirect cause of many other types of disease because it has adverse effects […] Read more


BVD screening and control program in Saskatchewan

Cattle producers urged to learn more about testing

Dr. Wendy Wilkins, disease surveillance veterinarian with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, administers the provincial BVD screening and control program. “Here in Saskatchewan this program provides free testing for producers who are looking for PI calves within their herd. We don’t do whole-herd screening but we do offer testing for any dead, deformed, aborted or […] Read more