GFM Network News


Liners sit empty on a spring morning at Red Deer, Alta. Cattle are more  susceptible to bovine respiratory disease after transport and when commingling, but research shows probiotics may help reduce disease prevalence.

Linking probiotics and respiratory health

Studies on the bovine microbiota show the possibility of using probiotics to help prevent bovine respiratory disease

Ongoing studies are leading scientists closer to the development of an alternative to help prevent and treat the beef industry’s costliest disease. Researchers at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research centre in Lethbridge, Alta., are developing a probiotic to help reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Though several studies are still needed […] Read more

Setting a calf on a healthy path to the feedlot starts with the cow, says Dr. Greg Dimmers.

Feedlot health starts with the cow

While the industry has gotten better at managing disease, cow-calf producers can reduce even more health issues in feedlot cattle

Some of the biggest health challenges in finishing cattle can be minimized or even prevented long before the animals arrive at the feedlot. In fact, calves can be set on a path to better health before birth, according to veterinarian Dr. Greg Dimmers of Metzger Veterinary Services in Linwood, Ont., to help address what he […] Read more


Larger carcass weights and falling live cattle futures made way for lower fed cattle prices by mid-October.

Vaccinating for bovine respiratory disease

Research: News Roundup from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

While bovine respiratory disease is often thought of as a feedlot problem, it’s also the most common cause of death for nursing calves older than three weeks, notes the Beef Cattle Research Council’s blog. Several studies have shown bovine respiratory disease (BRD) peaks seasonally. For example, a Nebraska study that looked at several years of […] Read more

BRD or shipping fever is associated with recently weaned calves or calves that have recently arrived in the feedlot. Keep an eye out for chronic respiratory infections as well as acute cases.

Biofilm infections hamper detection and treatment of shipping fever

Research is underway on ways to dissolve the biofilm that protects bacteria in many cases of bovine respiratory disease

Keep a closer eye on the chronic, less obvious cases of bovine respiratory disease, says one researcher. These infections often involve a biofilm in the respiratory tract, protecting the bacteria and making it more resistant to antibiotics. Dr. Thomas Inzana, associate dean for research at Long Island University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying […] Read more


Researchers are working on a test to identify Angus genetics better able to battle bovine respiratory disease.

Immune test in the works to fight bovine respiratory disease

Research: News Roundup from the April 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Several cattle industry organizations are collaborating on a project that could help fight bovine respiratory disease, Farmtario reports. The high-immune test for Angus cattle will identify genetics that are better able to fight the disease. Semex, Angus Genetics Inc., the Canadian Angus Association and the University of Guelph are working together on the project. Genome […] Read more

The majority of deaths due to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) occur shortly after arrival to the feedlot or within the first 45 days.

Chute-side diagnostics for bovine respiratory disease remain elusive

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Speakers at the 2019 Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners addressed bovine respiratory disease (BRD) from several perspectives, including emergence of changing patterns of respiratory disease, economics of BRD, prudent use of antimicrobials in prevention and treatment of BRD, and diagnostics. BRD accounts for approximately 75 per cent of feedlot morbidity and 50 to 70 […] Read more


High-risk calves a welfare concern

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) accounts for 65 to 80 per cent of the morbidity (sickness) and 45 to 75 per cent of the mortality (deaths) in feedlots. Dr. Dan Thompson of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine 2018 Beef Cattle Conference on managing high-risk calves, highlighted the […] Read more

Bovine respiratory disease from the farm to the feedlot

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Weed seeds and invasive species may be present even in well-managed pastures and rangelands, but it is hard for them to germinate, establish and spread in healthy, competitive forage stands. Stresses like severe drought, overgrazing, heavy traffic or excavation can weaken forage stands and create opportunities for unwanted plants to take root. Researchers are now […] Read more


Dr. Tye Perrett, Feedlot Health Management Services.

Calves from vaccinated dams did better in the feedlot

Canadian study looked at protection from respiratory and viral diseases

A uniquely Canadian study provides the first comprehensive look at feedlot health outcomes for calves from dams vaccinated before conception with Express FP. Dr. Tye Perrett, a managing partner with Feedlot Health Management Services, Okotoks, Alta., oversaw the project that reviewed Canadian feedlot records on 1.4 million calves born between 2007 and 2014 to compare […] Read more

Antibiotic alternatives for livestock producers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Antibiotics are a tremendously valuable tool in livestock production. For example, at this time of year, groups of lightweight, freshly weaned, shrunk-out calves with an unknown vaccination or nutritional history arriving at a feedlot after being transported long distances from pre-sort sales in cool, wet, fall weather are likely candidates for bovine respiratory disease (BRD). […] Read more