GFM Network News


Fuelling up cows for cold weather and calving

Health: A cow's body condition is closely linked to calving success

It takes a North American prairie cold snap, those first two to three weeks of real winter when outside temperatures plummet where Fahrenheit and Centigrade meet below zero, for beef specialists to dust off and publish articles on managing cows through cold — the -40 C kind. They all make valid points; gentle reminders for […] Read more

Meconium staining of newborn calves is a red flag

This spring think of meconium as an early warning sign of many things

As a veterinarian over the past 35 years I’ve been called many times to assist with difficult calvings or malpresentations that resulted in meconium (first manure) stained calves. The jury is still out on what causes this and what we should do about it. Veterinarians have many opinions on this topic, as it is a […] Read more


Knowing when to act to help ensure a successful birth is crucial if problems occur during calving.

Improper cervical dilation at calving

Recognizing when it's happening is your first step

One of the hardest calving dilemmas you or your veterinarian face, is improper cervical dilation. Before expulsion of the fetus the cervix normally relaxes, softens and opens up essentially as wide as the vagina to allow the fetus to enter the vaginal vault. When this does not happen normally, or is delayed, the health of […] Read more

The purebred herd starts calving in January and the commercial cattle about March 10.

Calving at Tannas Ranch

A family-run, fourth-generation ranch in Alberta

Mark and Ingrid Tannas, their son Luke and his wife Ceanna run 300 purebred Angus and 125 commercial cows at their ranch west of Water Valley, Alta. Mark is the fourth generation on the ranch. “Our family has been here about 50 years, and we built our first calving barn about 40 years ago. It […] Read more



There are few fractures today that cannot be dealt with in an economical fashion, says Saskatchewan veterinarian Andy Acton.

Dealing with broken bones in calves

There are many options for setting a broken bone

Occasionally cattle suffer fractures, and it’s generally a leg bone. Often it’s a young or newborn calf, and the fractured limb should be cast or splinted for proper healing. When Dr. Andy Acton with Deep South Animal Clinic at Ogema, Sask., gets a phone call from a producer about a possible fracture, he asks about […] Read more


Extra equipment for your calving kit

Calving/Equipment with Roy Lewis, DVM

Just as a good mechanic has specific tools for specific jobs you too need specialized equipment during calving season. Each piece should be clean, disinfected and accessible when calving, and a little practice with this equipment beforehand is always beneficial. You may not need these particular tools often, but when you do they can save […] Read more

Calving fits with year-round grazing at Chinook Ranch

Longview, Alta. ranch in operation since 1950

Stephen Hughes raises beef cattle near Longview, in southwestern Alberta. “Our family has been here since the late 1940s. My grandfather came from England in 1928 and had this ranch put together by 1950. My dad, Jim, is still involved in the day-to-day management of the ranch. I am third generation, and when I got […] Read more


Canadian dealer Eric Fazakas, EF Ag Services.

TEXT from Moocall: Cow 37 is calving

Equipment: News Roundup from the January 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The text message woke Vern Luther at Craik, Sask., in the wee hours. Jason Evashenko, about a half-hour north near Kenaston, received the exact same text a month later while out for a family supper. As inconvenient as the timing was, neither minded the interruption because it meant a new calf on the way. The […] Read more

Doin’ what needs doin’: Part 1

A wise old farmer once advised me, “Do what needs doin’, scratch what needs scratch’in. A good piece of advice as we look ahead to calving season and the grazing season beyond. Being sure cows and bred heifers are fed properly through winter and later stages of pregnancy tops the list. Do this well and […] Read more