GFM Network News


The peripartum period — late gestation, parturition, and early lactation — is a stressful time for a beef cow. She is at high risk for metabolic disorders, but also gastrointestinal and infectious diseases. The key is to expect them and be ready to act, but hopefully try to prevent them. Dr. David Van Metre from […] Read more

How To Do A Neonatal Calf Assessment

EARLY SIGNS OF DISEASE IN CALVES 1. Fever (over 39.5or 103F). 2. Slow or reduced milk intake. 3. Watery and/or bloody diarrhea. 4. Cough, nasal discharge, or heavy breathing. 5. Umbilical or joint swelling, head tilt. 6. Weakness, inability, or reluctance to rise. 7. Lameness. Average mortality in beef calves between birth and weaning runs […] Read more

Identify And Treat “At-Risk” Calves

To improve the chance of pulling a calf through an illness, it should be treated early. To do this, it means identifying the calves that are “at-risk,” watching them closely, and being ready to act. Any calf that has gone through a dystocia should be considered an at-risk calf, even if it appears normal and […] Read more


Creep feeding — providing supplemental feed to calves while they are still taking milk from the cow — is utilized by many producers. It adds to the nutrition they have available from milk and pasture, boosting preweaning weight gain and weaning weights. It also has the advantage of getting calves used to solid food before […] Read more


Calf survival is crucial to the economic success of a beef operation. But the process of ensuring healthy calves doesn’t start at calving. It actually begins nine months earlier at conception, and the first factor that affects it is the dam’s nutrition. Once gestation is complete, the environment (facilities) as well as the management of […] Read more


Recent work shows that early calf vaccination can create an immune response. This flies in the face of what we have long assumed, and it gives producers opportunities to protect calves from disease. For decades, veterinarians have been taught that young animals cannot be vaccinated as long as there are maternal antibodies circulating in the […] Read more