Latest articles

Some dos and don’ts when treating cattle in cold weather

A few simple tips to make you better prepared to attend your cattle this winter

Inclement weather creates challenges when processing cattle, whether preg-checking, vaccinating or weaning in the fall, or giving cows pre-calving vaccinations, or delousing treatments in midwinter. Dr. Eric Laporte of Nagel and Company Veterinary Services, Cow-Calf Health Management Solutions in Crossfield, Alta., says one of the main challenges in cold weather is keeping your vaccines from […] Read more

Heifer selection is in the eye of the beholder

Here’s how Travis Olson beholds them

There are many criteria regarding which heifers to keep and which ones to sell. Most producers have certain goals that help guide those decisions. Commercial cattlemen want heifers that will be fertile, productive, long-lived cows that stay in the herd a long time producing good calves. Purebred breeders want heifers that will produce high-quality seedstock […] Read more

Cull or keep? Factors to consider when culling cows

Plus, culling on temperament and maternal behaviour

When culling cows it’s important to have a plan, preferably one that includes pregnancy testing and close evaluation of every cow. Bruce Viney, a risk management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, recalls that when he ran cattle he culled for a lot more reasons than whether or not they were open. “If they have […] Read more

Wintering heifers at Fenton Hereford Ranch

Irma, Alta. operation develops approach that sees cattle thrive during the cold

Al Fenton of Fenton Herefords at Irma, Alta., has raised thousands of replacement heifers and has a pretty good idea about how to feed and grow them into cows. “We use fenceline weaning, which is low stress. We wean in a 10-acre area with cows on one side and calves on the other. It’s a […] Read more

Winter management for replacement heifers

Create a development plan that works for you

Good management of heifers, especially during winter, can make a big difference in their success as cows. Dr. Bart Lardner, research scientist with the Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) and adjunct professor in the department of animal and poultry science at the University of Saskatchewan says the traditional recommendation, for the past 40 years, has […] Read more

Watch for urinary stones

Animal Health: Urinary blockages can be more common in early-castrated steers than bulls

Occasionally cattle suffer from kidney stones or bladder stones, just like humans. These are called urinary calculi, and are mineralized clumps in the urinary tract. In cattle, bladder stones are more common than kidney stones. Small ones usually pass out with urine and are not a problem, but sometimes stones become caught and create a […] Read more

A proper dosage of antibiotics is crucial for efficiency

Animal Health with Heather Smith Thomas

When treating cattle with antibiotics, dewormers and other medications, it is important to use the proper dosage — which is generally determined by the weight of the animal. Thus it is crucial to know, not guess the weight. Under-dosing may not give the desired results, and overdosing in some instances can be harmful. In the […] Read more

Do you have a veterinary-client-patient relationship?

Animal Health: VCPRs will soon be needed to prescribe antibiotics

The significance of veterinary-client-patient relationships (VCPR) is being elevated to a new level as Canadian veterinarians strive to fulfill their obligations for oversight of medically important antimicrobials in the global battle to check the spread of resistant bacteria. By the end of this year, veterinarians must have records on file to validate VCPRs before prescribing […] Read more

‘Software disease’ — The hazards of plastic, net wrap and twines

Animal Health: Ingestion of plastics has become a common killer

Cattle, especially young ones, are curious and chew on anything within reach. They may eat baling twines, plastic bags and other debris that ends up in their pen or pasture. The strange material may taste or smell interesting, so the animals chomp it down. Sometimes they accidentally ingest foreign objects in their feed. Cattle eat […] Read more