GFM Network News


Can we reduce castration pain in week-old calves?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Calving season is upon some of you and just around the corner for many more. Half of those calves will be castrated. Research has shown that it’s best to castrate calves at the youngest practical age to minimize pain and speed recovery. The 2019 Adoption Rates of Recommended Practices by Cow-Calf Operators in Canada study […] Read more

By restraining the cow, the substitute calf can nurse without being kicked, stimulating milk let-down.

Tips for grafting a calf

There’s more than one way to encourage cow-calf bonding, but hormones and smell are key

When a cow loses a newborn calf, many stockmen will graft an orphan or twin onto the cow. Sometimes it’s prudent to graft an old cow’s calf onto a younger cow that has lost a calf, so that the old cow can be fattened and sold. But what’s the best way to get a cow […] Read more


Don’t forget everyday practices such as providing clean, dry bedding during calving season.

Reducing disease in newborn calves

Calving: News Roundup from the February 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Extra vigilance before and during the calving season can pay off when it comes to producing healthy calves. “Newborn calf mortality can have a significant impact on calf crop percentage and ultimately your herd economics,” said Dr. Steve Hendrick, veterinarian with the Coaldale Veterinary Clinic in Coaldale, Alta. Hendrick spoke about reducing disease in newborn […] Read more

From top left: SVY Starstruck 938G with calf at side, Greenwood Electric Impact ET, Brooking Countess 7077 and Brooking Dusty’s Countess 9026, BIG-GULLY 109 ESPIONAGE 181G.

Canadian Western Agribition Highlights

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News about you from the January 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Canadian Western Agribition hosted over 1,200 international guests from over 78 countries in 2019. The United States and Australia sent the most guests. A delegation of six came from Sweden, the largest official delegation to Agribition this year. At the Charolais sale, a heifer calf from Serhienko Cattle Co. from Maymont, Sask., sold to Full […] Read more


Calving date shifting in Ontario

The onset of calving season often depends on the individual operation, says an Ontario cow-calf producer

The vast majority of Ontario producers calve their cows either in the barn or very close to it early in the year, but the current trend is toward later calving dates on grass, according to Craig McLaughlin, a Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) board director and cow-calf producer in Renfrew County. A survey conducted in […] Read more

Softer steel cables fence off the trough and stretch without snapping.

Hopper-bottomed calf feeder cuts labour

A relatively simple system replaced hauling feed with five-gallon buckets on this ranch

Hauling five-gallon buckets to feed the weanlings was a regular chore for the Bowie family, until a fire gave them a chance to do something different. Originally the Bowie family, who ranch in the Great Sandhills of southwestern Sask­atchewan, used an old wooden-wheeled grain wagon to hold feed for the calves. They filled their pails […] Read more


Mike Millar visited Woodjam Ranch as part of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association AGM and tour.

Junior Stockman, Ranchman pair up for Ridin’ and Recitin’

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News about you from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

This year has been a whirlwind of events from breed association AGMs, cattle shows, and 4-H junior events. My travels found me in New Brunswick and B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan and overseas in Scotland. What caught my attention was the passion felt by the beef producers nationally and internationally about how lucky we are to […] Read more

If you can select for low-maintenance cows, your profitability will go up.

Genetic Modifications Observed in cattle

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

I am not an expert on cattle genetics. Not even close. I believe that in today’s livestock genetics, there is just as much variability within a breed as there is between breeds. We have diluted our genetics far too much with most breeds and most species. But I would like to share with you a […] Read more


A calving ease EPD is a better measure than only looking at a potential heifer bull’s head, neck or shoulders, says Travis Olson.

Calving ease top priority when selecting heifer bulls

Calving ease EPD more important than assessing a bull visually, says Alberta producer

When it’s time to choose a heifer bull, expected progeny difference for calving ease tops one beef producer’s list. The birth weight expected progeny difference (EPD) is accurate but it’s simply an average, says Travis Olson of Ole Farms at Athabasca, Alta. For example, two bulls could have an average birth weight EPD of 75 […] Read more

Most cases of scours in calves occur at three days or older, meaning they are most likely viral in origin so electrolytes will do more good than antibiotics.

Lessons from a neonatal disease survey

Calving: Measuring the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada

A very comprehensive survey was completed a few years ago by Dr. Cheryl Waldner at the Western Veterinary College in Saskatoon looking at the incidence of early calfhood diseases across Western Canada. Surveys were distributed to veterinary clinics across this region and randomly distributed to their clients. Thanks should go to the participating veterinarians and […] Read more