Latest articles

cow and calf

Hard to beat the value of good colostrum

Calf Management: Watch for blood infections such as septicemia

Calves sometimes develop systemic infection in which bacteria or their toxins get into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. Some types of toxin-forming bacteria (usually gaining entrance to the body via the GI tract, after damaging the gut lining and slipping through it) cause rapid death. The calf goes into shock when internal organs […] Read more

Protecting calves through vaccination

Best to consult with veterinarian on what’s right for your farm

Newborn calves gain temporary (passive) immunity from disease when they ingest colostrum, since this “first milk” contains antibodies. After a few weeks or months this temporary protection diminishes, so calves must build their own immunities. Vaccinating at the proper time can help protect them until weaning age. Vaccinating them too soon, however, may not stimulate […] Read more

Old school nutrition works after calving

It doesn't have to cost a lot to maintain proper body condition

Already, I know a few producers have had a couple of sleepless nights checking cows at calving. Most have told me all has gone well, because their cows came through the winter in good shape and were well-prepared for this year’s calving season. Moving forward, they now feed their calved-out beef cows diets which contain […] Read more

2017 bull sale off to good start

Plenty of good events ahead involving people, animals and machinery

Stewart Ainsworth has no complaints after their 48th annual bull sale at the ranch earlier this winter. Ainsworth, who along with family members is part of Lazy S Ranch at Mayerthorpe, Alberta, just northwest of Edmonton, says it wasn’t a record year, “but still we were very pleased with the results” … considering the year, […] Read more

Getting ready for sale day

Cattle are important, but don’t overlook facilities and sale barn

As the snow begins to melt, giving way to mud and green grass, livestock seed stock producers make preparations for their upcoming annual production sales. They have made the long lists of items necessary to prepare for a successful production sale and they are checking them twice: writing newsletters and personal letters to previous customers […] Read more

Dealing with birthing complications

Congenital abnormalities can impede calving process

Occasionally a difficult calving is caused by abnormality in the fetus. David Steffen, a diagnostic pathologist at the University of Nebraska, says that whenever you’re checking a cow or heifer that’s not making progress in labour, keep in mind the possibility of congenital abnormality. Some congenital defects in the calf may hinder the birth progress […] Read more

Luing cattle – an efficient maternal breed

A newer British breed that performs well on lower-quality forage

Iain Aitken is passionate about his Luing (pronounced ‘Ling’) cattle and their outstanding traits that make cattle-raising easy. He and his wife Rowena have 200 head of this Scottish breed on their farm near Belmont in southwestern Manitoba. “I came to Canada from Scotland in 2000,” says Aitken. “I grew up with Galloways, then my […] Read more

Don’t overuse antibiotics in livestock

Cattle sometimes heal themselves, but get veterinary advice

Ranchers often wonder which antibiotics they should have on hand for calving. They like to be prepared, in case a calf becomes ill, a cow needs treatment after a difficult birth, or develops mastitis or some other infection. Dr. David Smith of Mississippi State University says cattlemen probably need to use fewer antibiotics than they […] Read more

Dexter cattle are easy keepers

Small stature breed has excellent fit for hobbyists and acreage owners

April and May is calving season at Nick and Janice Woodhouse’s acreage near Dalmeny, Sak., but the couple isn’t concerned about getting up in the middle of the night to monitor their herd of Dexter cows. “I’ve never experienced any calving problems or had to assist with any births,” says Nick, who has been raising […] Read more

Trace minerals directly affect unborn calves

If the cow isn’t getting sufficient minerals calf development and strength suffers

Within the next few months, there will be a lot of newborn calves on the ground. Fair- to good-quality forage is quite plentiful this year and grain is a reasonable price, so most of the cow herds I have seen across Western Canada this winter are in good body condition for calving. But one area […] Read more