Latest articles


Cattle can make a pretty good ‘weatherman’

Penchecker's Diary: Don’t be afraid to believe some folklore, intangibles or observations

In this day and age we hear so much about fake news and conspiracy theories, from politics to business and even religion. They have become a part of our everyday life. And depending on what type of person we are, we often logically dismiss almost everything we hear as preposterous. I sometimes wonder if we […] Read more


calf eating grass

Spring is welcome, but it brings its own issues for calves

Pen Checker Diary: Nicer weather comes with a whole parcel of animal health risks

Those of us in the agricultural field find ourselves continually affected by our Canadian weather. A constant of this weather is that it is continually changing, and when the bitter cold temperatures of winter begin to ease and the spring sun appears in its brilliance, Old Sonny and I tend to feel pretty good about […] Read more



cattle herd

Flight zones can teach some lessons

Cattle behaviour may not be all that much different than how humans handle life

There are many things I have learned over the years about what makes a good pen checker in the feedlot. In my opinion, one of the most important is learning about the flight zones of cattle. Earlier in my career, I believed it was something you either understood or didn’t. There was no middle ground […] Read more




Stiff, sore and hurtin’ — I can relate

A foundered steer is troublesome, but elicits some extra sympathy

During my morning pen-checking rounds I came across a yearling red and white steer with a bad case of foot rot. Now there is nothing unusual about that, being that I find many cattle with this problem every day. The difference in this case, was that this particular steer was badly foundered to start with. […] Read more