GFM Network News


When roping calves during processing, ropers should be experienced and consistent.

Tapping into animal behaviour while processing calves

Cattle handlers must be willing to learn from experience and the knowledge of others

With calving season coming to a close for many producers, it is time to plan an efficient and safe branding and processing day for the calves. It is important that cows and calves are handled calmly and with as little stress as possible to reduce negative impacts on their health and productivity, plus make the […] Read more

A fair rental rate balances renter and landlord interests, while maintaining the health of the grass and allowing efficient use.

Negotiating a workable pasture rental agreement

A variety of factors can make pasture rental rates difficult to calculate

There are many considerations when renting or leasing pasture for cattle. What is the fair and proper way to decide on a payment method? Should there be other considerations such as a drought clause included in case of a dry year? What about fencing and insurance costs? Who should be responsible for the care and […] Read more


Castration can be one of the most stressful and painful experiences for livestock.

Castration tips and pain control

Better to castrate bull calves at a younger age, otherwise growth can be affected

There are numerous reasons for bull calf castration beyond reducing sexual activity and reproduction. Bulls are naturally aggressive and so castration becomes necessary for the herd’s welfare and the protection of those that work with them. Bulls exhibit a lower-quality, inconsistent, tougher, less marbled carcass than steers. They also deliver a much larger number of […] Read more

Researchers found that exit and flight speed from chutes are reliable indicators of temperament. Heifers generally score higher in exit speeds.

Behaviour temperament scoring in replacement heifers

Different scoring systems have included chute, gait, exit and flight speed

Due to consumers’ perpetual concerns regarding animal welfare, producers are displaying a renewed interest in the study of temperament behaviour in beef cattle. Producers are also searching for legitimate technology and data to keep them on the cutting edge in their operational and financial decisions. They face more and more studies out of universities and […] Read more


Bulls will establish a pecking order when brought together, and breeding season brings out aggression.

Getting bulls ready for the breeding season

Take steps to make sure bulls stay healthy in the off season as well

Before breeding season starts, herd sire considerations should be front and center. Assess the condition of the bull battery well before the bulls are released into the cow and heifer herds. A good place to start is a breeding soundness exam which is a uniform method of determining a bull’s likelihood of establishing pregnancy in […] Read more

Canadian and U.S. calf preconditioning trends

Conventional preconditioning programs generally include at minimum — castration, dehorning, vaccination against clostridial and bacterial diseases, parasite control, weaning for a period of 30-plus days, and acclimation to feedstuffs, bunks and water bowls prior to sale. The term itself is not narrowly defined and can mean different things to different people including a combination of […] Read more


Be a guest, not a predator in the feedlot pen

Animal Health: Feedlot tips from a pen checker

In all occupations, there are a mixture of excellent employees and those that come up short. Feedlot pen checking is no exception. While one rider can enter a pen instigating a fence testing explosion of beef, another will be virtually welcomed wholeheartedly by the animals. Over the years, I learned it’s very much dependent on […] Read more