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




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



TEXT from Moocall: Cow 37 is calving

Equipment: News Roundup from the January 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The text message woke Vern Luther at Craik, Sask., in the wee hours. Jason Evashenko, about a half-hour north near Kenaston, received the exact same text a month later while out for a family supper. As inconvenient as the timing was, neither minded the interruption because it meant a new calf on the way. The […] 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