Latest articles


Building beef cattle diets using some straw

Keeping cows properly fed while reducing costs

First came the drought, then through September and early October a foot of snow, a weekend of autumn and finally winter. Not exactly the best weather for harvesting good-quality forage and grain for most beef cattle. At least we had a return to good fall conditions by mid-October. Fortunately, what grain that was taken off […] Read more


Dry pastures lacking in minerals and vitamins

Supplements need to get cattle ready for calving and rebreeding

After several months of a hot and dry summer, who would have imagined that we would have snow showers by the end of September. It wouldn’t have been so bad if some pastures had bounced back, yet they remain deplorable. Of the many fall/winter pastures I have driven past or walked through, most show the […] Read more



Feeding salt to beef cattle is easy

From either blocks or in loose form, a beef animal now needs about 50 grams per day

What could be easier than throwing a salt block off the back of a truck for each group of grazing cattle in a cow herd? Or filling a part of a mineral compartment with loose salt? Then coming back in a week or so and putting out salt in one of these ways, again? It […] Read more


Replenish vital fluid loss in dairy calves

Dairy Corner: Not only disease, but even heat stress can quickly take its toll

It might be a scouring sick dairy calf or an otherwise healthy one suffering from stress, but death can be minutes away if either calf loses more than 10 per cent of its bodyweight in fluids (water and electrolytes). Fortunately, we can save many of these dairy calves by recognizing the symptoms of dehydration and […] Read more



A feed strategy to help compensate for poor pastures

It’s a hot dry summer out there in many places — any grass just isn’t doing it

Western Canada is having one of the hottest and driest summers in 30 years. It might not be the widespread drought of the past, but this year’s pastures are either simply nonexistent or filled with nutritionally hollow grass. As a result, cattle performance is likely to be compromised now and in months ahead with a […] Read more


Implement a good pinkeye control program

Understand how it is spread to keep cattle healthy

I’m hearing about more cases of pinkeye in cows and in their calves than in the last few years. A few milder winters might have had something to do with it — not enough overwintering face flies (that spread the disease) were killed off. Each cow or calf infected with untreated painful pinkeye (caused by […] Read more



Cows leaving the dairy

Dirty conditions can lead to uterine infections

Barn cleanliness as well as nutrition can be among the contributors

Many dairy cows come down with a uterine infection after calving. Some are slight but some are more serious. While there are host of factors which cause them, some reasons such as a dirty calving area are obvious, other reasons such as persistent metabolic problems are not so clear. Fortunately, a good spring-cleaning and improvements […] Read more


Water and shade reduce impact of heat stress on cattle

Too much heat along with pests can affect breeding success

I am no stranger to the effects of summer heat stress in cattle. Back when I was working on my master’s thesis at the University of Manitoba (the effect of molybdenum on copper status in beef cattle nutrition, 1983), I had 35 Shorthorn/Angus crossbred yearlings on full feed. During that particular summer, after July 1 […] Read more




Nip risk of grass tetany in the bud

Provide a tablespoon or two daily of magnesium mineral supplement before turnout

Every spring, I think about the possibilities of grass tetany in the cow herds going out to graze in on lush prairie grass. While nobody wants to find a fresh cow that died under mysterious circumstances, there is no need to panic. Fortunately, most threats of fatal grass tetany can be reduced by providing beef […] Read more