GFM Network News

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

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

It doesn’t have to be a fancy ration, but proper nutrition for cows and heifers after they calve will have multiple benefits down the road.

Invest in a good feeding program after calving

It benefits in rebreeding and also fall-calf weaning weights

I give nursing beef cow diets a passing grade when they support beef cows to produce lots of milk for their newborn calves and promote growth in postpartum replacement heifers. These diets must also retain their precious body condition (BCS of 2.5 -3.0, on a 5-point scale) so females can get rebred and conceive within […] Read more

Veterinarian recommends having a good supply of good quality disinfectants and cleaning products on hand at calving.

Your calving season checklist — be prepared

Don’t wait till the last minute to start searching for equipment

Before calving starts, you want everything you might need on hand, and have all facilities and equipment functional and ready for use. A few calves may arrive early, so don’t wait till the last minute to get machinery or other equipment out of the calving barn or maternity pen if that’s where you stored or […] Read more

Prep heifers for breeding and calving

Prep heifers for breeding and calving

Bred or unbred, these animals need energy to grow

Many producers are retaining more replacement heifers than in previous years. There are many good reasons to do so, but if so they should assure that unbred replacements are receiving adequate midwinter nutrition in order to be ready for breeding in the spring and ready to give birth to their first healthy calf. Given that […] Read more

It is important to make sure newborn calf is “accepted” and gets proper feed of colostrum.

Tips for a healthy calving season

Animal Health with Roy Lewis: All players should share ideas of what works and what doesn’t

Spring calving season is close upon us and every year after the fact, there are always some things we would do differently. Calving is a humbling experience, even for veterans. I am sure you all have some words of wisdom to share, and I am all ears. We can all learn from each other, and […] Read more

Beef cattle need to be kept in 2.5 to 3 body condition score range heading into calving season.

Proper rations for winter cattle feeding and calving

Cows need to maintain body condition and feed a fetus

There are several kilometres of Highway 59 in southern Manitoba which provide a snapshot of winter-feeding programs. Despite several feet of snow in the winter, I often see many cow herds being overwintered along this stretch of road, since in each one of the adjoining yards are rows of hay bales that I can see […] Read more