GFM Network News


Dr. Brett Terhaar from Frontier Veterinary Services in Winterset, IA using ultra sound equipment for prep checking cattle.

The pros and cons of different preg-check options for cows

Herd size and speed of test can point to the best technique

Pregnancy testing methods include palpation, ultrasound and blood tests. Dr. Don Driedger of Driedger Veterinary Services in Lloydminster, Alta., does a lot of pregnancy testing in his area, and uses both palpation and ultrasound. “The main reason most producers preg-check is to decrease the number of cows that are just freeloading through winter,” says Driedger. […] Read more

Colostrum, antibiotics, vaccines and even fly control measures — too much of a good thing often is not only harmful, but usually a waste of money as well. It is important to use products as needed and as recommended.

More is not necessarily better in cow-calf production

Don't up the dose — use animal health products at the proper rate and time

We as veterinarians have worked hard to educate producers about dosage amounts and to get away from the mentality of “more is better.” It might require repeated assurances that the label dose of pharmacy company research is appropriate. With higher rates, the withdrawal times and product costs increase. Weighing cattle as they are processed in […] Read more


A proper vaccination program as calves head out to pasture can help reduce the risk of common respiratory diseases.

Vaccination one tool to curb ‘summer pneumonia’ in calves

It’s important to keep calf immunity strong from birth to weaning

When young nursing calves become sick on pasture, the term “summer pneumonia” is often used to describe their situation. Technically, it’s a misnomer, says Russ Daly, extension veterinarian at South Dakota State University. Calf producers typically refer to it this way, as it happens on pasture matching up with summer in North America, as opposed […] Read more



Creep feeding may be a necessity

Creep feeding may be a necessity

With dry growing conditions, supplemental feed may be needed to make up for milk and grass shortfall

Bridging the nutrient gap between mothers’ milk and pastures has always been the traditional purpose for creep feeding spring calves on many commercial cow-calf operations. Some producers put creep feeders out during the late summer when pasture is mature and milk of the average cow can only meet 50 per cent of her growing calf’s […] Read more

Have a look at the mineral mix to make sure it has components for grazing and breeding season.

Cash in on beef cow mineral status in the spring

To avoid disease and promote rebreeding and maybe a dash of garlic for fly control

As the weather turns warm, many beef producers wish to refresh their cow mineral programs. It seems that most want to maintain the well-being of their cows coming into spring, whether cows are spring-calvers or calving is completely done and their cows are nursing new spring calves. In both cases, many producers also want to […] Read more


Calving season is well underway with some great looking calves.

A busy beginning to calving season

Eppich News: A quick start, but with a couple of unfortunate losses

We celebrated James’s first birthday on Feb. 18. Time has passed so fast on us. It does not seem like a year already! The weather also turned nicer. It felt quite warm in comparison to the -35 C we had the week before. With the warmer weather, the snow started melting during the day and […] Read more

Newborn calves are born with virtually no immunity of their own.

Tips for getting calves up and going

Great calving season advice from the Beef Cattle Research Council

Calving is a natural process. Most cows give birth to a healthy calf and everything goes as planned. However, there are times when things go wrong. Perhaps there is a malpresentation, such as a backwards arrival, or the calf’s foot is back. In some cases, calves may not take their first breath after a difficult […] Read more


This Montana beef producers aims to find a balance between heifer age and growth as they are managed toward puberty. They need size, but he doesn’t want them fat.

Tips on growing replacement heifers

Keep them growing with a good plane of nutrition, but don’t get them fat

Developing a set of good heifers is the goal of everyone raising their own replacements. Success depends on many factors, including age at puberty, herd health, a proper vaccination program, parasite control and nutrition. Fertility and age at puberty are heritable but also influenced by nutrition. Heifers need optimal nutrition for growth and development, including […] Read more

Veterinarian Susie Lutz works to dilate the vagina of this heifer in preparation of pulling the calf.

Tips on when and how to check cows during calving

Don’t hesitate to check progress — it’s better to intervene a bit early than too late

Most cows and heifers progress normally through three stages of labour (early labour, active labour with abdominal straining and expulsion of the placenta after delivery of the calf.) Uterine contractions in early labour get the calf aimed toward the birth canal, the cervix dilates and the calf starts through. The water sac and then the […] Read more