Latest articles


Dairy calves need proper feed and winter housing

Whether in a straw house or plastic hutch, keep them clean, keep them fed

Whenever I see dairy calves raised outside in the winter, it often reminds me of a producer I met several years ago. At the time, he told me that years before, he raised pre-weaned dairy calves in the most dismal ways. He used to house about 15 outside in several lean-tos, which were a sheet […] Read more


Suggestions for balanced winter rations for beef cattle

Use available feedstuffs to their best advantage

Good-quality forage for beef cows is in short supply this winter and the price of grain is still relatively expensive across Western Canada. The good news is well-balanced rations still can be put together for late-gestation beef cows to prepare them for a good calving season. This is a good reminder I received recently, when […] Read more



Zinc is a powerful trace mineral for cattle

From breeding to good feet it plays an important role

Recently, I was talking to a feed mill operator I occasionally do some beef nutritional work, and he told me many customers are requesting the best level of zinc added into their cattle mineral. We realize many pastures and harvested forage from this summer’s drought might likely be zinc-stressed, so we made sure to formulate […] Read more


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