Latest articles


Breeding program favours short-gestation bulls

Little or no calving difficulty as calves get off to a good start

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


A short 60-day breeding season leads to profit

Produces a more uniform batch of calves and higher weaning weights

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



A newborn black angus calf with it's mother

Research backs value of implanting calves

Improved weights in the range of 20 to 30 pounds per head

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


Breed frame size may influence twins

Multiple births are common among sheep and goats, but what about beef cattle?

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



Keep cow-calf pairs moving at calving

Separating newborns from older calves reduces scours risk

Editor’s Note: This is part of a feature blog article produced by the Beef Cattle Research Council on the value of developing a calving system that separates newborn cow-calf pairs from older calves to reduce the risk of disease spread. The concept is known as the Sandhill Calving system although there are variations on the theme. Doug Wray believes […] Read more


Improved conception rates tell the story

Good-quality mineral mix got this herd back on track

The four principal trace elements essential to successful beef cow reproduction, are copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. All too often, they are either deficient in forage or bound by compounds also found in forage, which makes them biologically unavailable to cattle. I instruct beef producers to plan the best mineral-(and vitamin-) feeding program to their […] Read more



Banding worked well for dehorning

Cattle displayed some discomfort but it didn't last long

Cattle with horns can be anything from an irritant to a real problem for producers. They are usually more aggressive than the polled or dehorned animals because they know they have a weapon. They can hurt other cattle by head butting them to get them to move away from feed or water. They can also […] Read more


New ideas for feeding and housing calves

Designs and technology showcased in Germany

Giving young calves the best start in life will reward farmers in the long run, as healthier animals thrive much better. With a growing consumer focus on animal welfare, farmers are being urged to ensure calves destined for both beef and dairy herds have the best comfort in life. This was a key message delivered […] Read more



Select cows for udder conformation

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Calves start at a disadvantage if they can't nurse properly

While there are many things to evaluate in cow selection, the importance of udder and teat conformation should not be underestimated. Many a cow is culled later in life because of bad teats. Her calves may have a hard time sucking and getting much-needed colostrum. Getting a calf sucking on big coke-bottle teats can take […] Read more


Proper nutrition needed before and after calving

An example of a good feeding plan based on common sense and economy

Most people have done a good job in feeding their gestating cows this winter in order to maintain good body condition for calving. Yet hard work doesn’t stop once the last calf is born. Rather, good nutrition should continue for months afterward, so fresh cows can produce lots of milk for their growing calves and […] Read more