Latest articles


Pregnant cows need their protein

Molasses lick-tubs can help maintain cow condition and keep fetuses growing

I was recently driving west through the southern Prairies and saw a beef cow herd grazing late-autumn straw-coloured pasture. I suspected the calves were probably just weaned, which simply puts these dams at their lowest dietary requirements. I believe that these particular cows were getting plenty to eat, but they were probably not getting enough […] Read more


Beef industry is meeting new challenges

Animal Health: New technology and regulations help producers do a better job

The beef producer has always been resilient and the last few years have seen many new challenges. Under the guidance of the Canadian Cattleman’s Association and Alberta Beef Producers the cattle industry has responded to these issues very well. The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, which has been out […] Read more



Luing cattle can navigate their native Highlands

Scottish breed works well in a mixed beef and sheep operation

Farming in the Scottish Highlands can be classed as one of the more challenging environments to make a living, but results can be good when the land and livestock work in harmony. Scott Renwick is quite a busy farmer running his beef and sheep farm at Inverbroom in the northwest of the country while also […] Read more


Fall is no time to slack off on a livestock mineral program

Plenty of hidden benefits for overall herd health and reproduction

Since April, I’ve had the privilege to criss-cross the Prairies to witness the opposite effects of drought and continuous rainstorms upon hundreds of square miles of pasture. In some areas, the pastures were brown, short and by themselves didn’t produce enough feed to support cattle, while other regions were green, lush and had lots of […] Read more



How to reduce stress when processing cattle

Human behaviour has a big impact on livestock behaviour

Reducing stress can help improve health, animal welfare and production of our cattle. They do better when their heart rates, respiratory rates and cortisol levels are lower. Stress during processing, transporting, loading, unloading and any other interaction can all be reduced. A lot has been written and described on stress-free cattle handling. I would encourage producers to check out videos on the Merck […] Read more


Don’t force cattle to eat bones for phosphorus

It’s an important nutrient for overall animal health and reproduction

A long time ago in university, I came across a faded photograph in our animal science book (Animal Nutrition, Maynard et al, 1979) that showed a poor Venezuelan cow chewing on a bone. Its caption read that she suffered from phosphorus deficiency. I thought at the time that this poor animal was so skinny and […] Read more



Suggestions for streamlining cattle exports

Technicians could handle some of the tests and paperwork now done by vets

Progress generally makes things easier and more efficient but this has not been the case with CFIA veterinary accreditation and the processes for testing and getting approval to export cattle. As a result, many veterinarians — especially those approaching retirement — are letting their CFIA accreditation expire. I now hear of a real shortage of […] Read more


Creep feeding spring calves pays dividends

This program pencils out to a $23 per head net premium in 2019

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



Hyenas aren’t on Canadian predator list

The world’s beef producers face similar but different challenges

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


Lots to consider as cattle head to pasture

Provide important treatments before they go, monitor herd health while they are away

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