Latest articles


How to reduce stress when processing cattle

Human behaviour has a big impact on livestock behaviour

Reducing stress can help improve health, animal welfare and production of our cattle. They do better when their heart rates, respiratory rates and cortisol levels are lower. Stress during processing, transporting, loading, unloading and any other interaction can all be reduced. A lot has been written and described on stress-free cattle handling. I would encourage producers to check out videos on the Merck […] Read more


Improved design applied to cattle handling equipment

Animal Health: Easier on cattle and people and the job gets done faster

For three weeks in December 2018, I filled in at a former practice. There were a few really positive things and improvements in many of the farms I visited previously. Most are progressive operators so improvements are always being made. These improve animal welfare and make it easier on the people involved — including me, […] Read more



Suggestions for streamlining cattle exports

Technicians could handle some of the tests and paperwork now done by vets

Progress generally makes things easier and more efficient but this has not been the case with CFIA veterinary accreditation and the processes for testing and getting approval to export cattle. As a result, many veterinarians — especially those approaching retirement — are letting their CFIA accreditation expire. I now hear of a real shortage of […] Read more


Lots to consider as cattle head to pasture

Provide important treatments before they go, monitor herd health while they are away

There are many things to think about at pasture turnout time. Once they’re gone to grass, cattle are not always accessible, easy to find or treat so planning is necessary before turnout. One has to think about what things cattle will be exposed to on pasture and which age groups are most susceptible. Depending on […] Read more




Using new technology to monitor cattle

Animal Health: Stationary cameras and drones can be used in many ways

Technology has advanced for monitoring the health of cattle both at calving time and on pasture. Two operations I deal with during the calving season have used advanced cameras in the last several years. I have also seen demonstrations and heard a few presentations on drones for checking and monitoring cattle. It appears to be […] Read more



Select cows for udder conformation

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: Calves start at a disadvantage if they can't nurse properly

While there are many things to evaluate in cow selection, the importance of udder and teat conformation should not be underestimated. Many a cow is culled later in life because of bad teats. Her calves may have a hard time sucking and getting much-needed colostrum. Getting a calf sucking on big coke-bottle teats can take […] Read more


Using NSAID painkillers at calving

Animal Health: The treatment can benefit both cows and calves

With pain medication there may be adjunct treatment with antibiotics but sometimes this is unnecessary. If your veterinarian prescribes NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain he/she may choose one for several reasons — label claims, past experience in the field, price per treatment or per 100 pounds, duration of activity, ease of administration, advice of […] Read more




Pay attention to castration procedures in calves

Animal Health: Proper technique, timing and painkillers produce the best results

We now have many tools at our disposal for castration of beef and dairy calves. Newer techniques coupled with use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) when used in skilled hands will ensure the procedure is done properly and welfare issues are addressed. Most producers are ahead of the beef code recommendations for castration. Ideally the […] Read more