Latest articles


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



Are you ready for a drone?

In today’s world unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones are used for everything from small indoor toys to delivering military weapons or managing cattle

Drones are a relatively inexpensive way to locate cattle in big pastures so you know where to ride and start gathering. John Church, an associate professor in the natural resource sciences department of Thompson Rivers University at Kamloops, B.C., an area with semi-arid grassland, forested range and many large ranches, says some ranchers in this […] Read more


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