It’s always heartwarming to see the twitch of a spring calf’s tail as it nurses its mum. As this calf approaches three months of age, the brood cow’s milk production decreases, only supplying about half of the calf’s nutrient requirements. The rest must be delivered by sprouting pastures. But that could spell trouble to calf […] Read more
Every evening Calla Visser has to round up more than 400 cattle on his farm in eastern Botswana and herd them into outdoor corrals for the night to protect them against theft and predators. And early every morning Calla and his staff start going around the five different corrals on his 6,000-hectare farm counting all […] Read more
There are many things to think about at pasture turnout time. Once they’re gone to grass, cattle are not always accessible, easy to find or treat so planning is necessary before turnout. One has to think about what things cattle will be exposed to on pasture and which age groups are most susceptible. Depending on […] Read more
For southwest Saskatchewan ranchers Barry and Anne Wasko, switching the heifer-breeding program a few years ago to select for shorter-gestation bulls is producing smaller but vigorous calves while reducing concerns about calving difficulty. By breeding their Hereford/Red Angus-cross heifers to Black Angus bulls selected for EPDs showing shorter gestation, heifers are calving about 10 days […] Read more
There is currently a lot of interest in mob grazing, so let me be perfectly clear. I have no idea when a “mob” specifically becomes a mob. In Australia, the term mob is synonymous with what we would call a herd, but generally when we refer to mob grazing in Canada what we are talking […] Read more
Just outside Francistown in eastern Botswana, South Africa is Wayside Brahman Stud run by three generations of the Munger family. This well-known family name has been breeding both the red and grey Brahman cattle for more than 30 years, gaining a good reputation for quality stud and commercial stock. Wayside Brahmans hosts an on-farm auction […] Read more
The calving season is well underway on the Prairies, with some cow-calf operations calving with snow on the ground, while others plan to calve on pasture. Regardless of the starting date, the length of the calving season is directly related to the length of the previous breeding season. Research shows moving toward a desirable 60-day […] Read more
With an extended period of cold weather across the prairies this winter, semen results on young bulls and herd sires may not be all that desirable. We may see more bulls deferred because of semen defects. Don’t panic. Work with your veterinarian. They can provide the best advice on the outcome and even give a […] Read more
Cattle folks know that in a perfect world calves should be castrated as soon as possible after ingesting a bellyful of colostrum, as this reduces stress and limits the sickness caused when this procedure is completed later in life. Desired results also include reduced aggression, lowered sexual activity, controlled reproduction, producer safety, higher-quality carcass grades, […] Read more
Twins in beef cattle have always intrigued me. Then a Speckle Park producer from New Zealand combined two of my favourite things into triplet heifers — splashy colour and multiple births. Statistically, the odds of bovine triplets are 105,000 to one, with the odds of having same-sex triplets around 700,000 to one. Our experience with small ruminants raised the […] Read more
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