Latest articles

Proper diets take a bite out of wind chill

When temperatures dip, it’s time to torque up the ration

Beef cow diets developed at the beginning of winter when temperatures were mild are not adequate to meet their energy requirements when new year’s winds blow. That’s because pregnant beef cows need extra calories in order to keep warm, rather than burning up fat reserves needed for the upcoming calving season. Therefore, if it is […] Read more

Key tips to reduce milk fever cases

Incidence of the calcium deficiency can be sporadic, but hurt when they hit

Clinical milk fever is a particular insidious metabolic disease in freshened dairy cows. I have witnessed on some dairies, it’s not a significant problem, while next-door neighbours are plagued with downer cows one calving after another. In other dairies, milk fever doesn’t show up for months and then it shows up with a vengeance. From […] Read more

Does it pay to put weight on cull cows?

To decide best time to sell, pencil out the cost of feeding for a couple of months

Most producers have walked through their cow herds after the weaning season and picked out candidates for a cull group. Many of these are first-calf heifers and cows that were preg-checked and found open, while a smaller group were culled due to poor feet, legs and other structure defects. Even a few cows destined for […] Read more

Cow ration will have long-term impact in calf

􏰃Feed the grow􏰄ing unborn calf􏰅􏰆, and 􏰇meet the cow’􏰄􏰈s w􏰄inter requirements

In fall I visit several different cow herds going into winter. One of the first herds I saw this year was a 300 Angus-Simmental cows grazing drought-stricken pasture. I understood from the producer that his herd was nearly four months pregnant and the calves were going to be weaned about a month earlier than in […] Read more

Minerals now benefit next breeding season

It’s too late to fix mineral deficiencies when bulls are turned out with cows

Despite recent rain/snows, prolonged dry conditions this summer have left a wake of poor grazing pastures across the Prairies. High-fibre (aka low-energy) and low-protein grass has been the norm as well as a very poor mineral profile. A well-balanced autumn/winter mineral (and vitamin) program is necessary for gestating beef cows and replacement heifers in order […] Read more

Consider weaning calves early this fall

Creep feeding gives calves a chance to grow, takes pressure off cows

Recently, I was at drought ground zero in southern Saskatchewan and passed a group of about 50 blonde and whiteface cows and calves grazing dried-out pasture. The thin condition of the cows caught my attention and their calves looked gaunt and on the small side. My immediate reaction was this cow-calf herd was a good […] Read more

Keep bulls in breeding condition

While bulls usually have about 10 months of the year off, they shouldn’t be ignored

This past spring, a friend who runs about 300 beef cows spent about $60K on a select number of crossbred red Angus yearlings and two-year-olds. He had good luck with them during this summer’s breeding season, but since has literarily forgotten about them (and the rest of his bulls) for the next nine to 10 […] Read more