Latest articles


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


Options for keeping winter water open

Water supp􏰅􏰅lies need to be reliable but also safe

Providing adequate stock water can be a frustrating challenge during colder months. Having adequate water and keeping it ice-free is not a simple task. In some pastures, water availability is also an issue. Trey Patterson, CEO of Padlock Ranches in Wyoming, says one of the challenges is keeping water thawed. “If you have multiple groups […] Read more



Ease weaned calves into backgrounding

It is difficult if not impossible to recover losses due to sick animals

Some ranchers hold calves over as yearlings, and some buy light calves in the spring to put on grass and gain weight. Some calves go into a confinement program and are fed a growing ration until they are ready to enter a finishing facility. Backgrounding covers a spectrum of situations that includes preconditioning before and […] Read more




Tips on horse foot care

Horse Management with Heather Smith Thomas

“No foot, no horse” is the old saying. A horse is only as sound as his feet. Care and management of feet will depend on the individual horse, his conformation and hoof structure, environment (including climate), and use. Whether or not the horse needs to be shod will also hinge on these factors. A shod […] Read more


Spring coming as water begins to run

It's a good time of year to do some fencing and clean up around the corrals

February 23 Last Tuesday Michael, Nick and Robbie started replacing the old, falling-down fence along our lane. Michael used the backhoe to dig out chokecherry trees and old fence posts. Lynn went to town for a doctor appointment to have his hip checked; the doctor wants him to have an MRI to try to figure […] Read more



Safety reminders when working cattle

Put yourself in the animal's place to identify hazards

Most cattle herds are routinely gathered and worked for brand­­ing, vaccinating, pregnancy testing, weaning and other necessary management tasks. With many cow herds put through the chute twice or more annually, it is important to make sure these tasks are accomplished smoothly and safely for the cattle and the crew. Nora Schrag, a veterinarian with Kansas State College […] Read more


Even a small dose of ergot is harmful

Research may lead to new feeding regulations

Ergot is a fungus that can grow on certain grasses and grain plants, often under certain growing season moisture conditions, but other crop fertility issues can be at play as well. Ergot becomes a problem mainly after a wet season, rarely during dry conditions. The fungus replaces the seed head with a dark brown/black mass […] Read more