GFM Network News


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



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 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


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

If you don’t have the numbers to make a truck load lot, it may be worthwhile to team up with another producer.

Numbers matter when marketing cattle

Genetics may not matter as much as larger, more consistent lots

The definition of marketing for some cow-calf producers could be “rounding up the calves, loading them into trailers and sending them to the local auction market.” While this method will put a cheque in the bank account, it’s not likely the optimum definition to tie the financial proficiency of an operation to. Advertise herd genetics […] Read more



Cows need their space at calving — even just a few minutes alone so they can properly bond with the calf.

There is a reason pregnant cows prefer to isolate

Being alone at calving is natural, and improves bonding

The act of a pregnant cow seeking isolation and birthing a calf without interruption to establish a strong and healthy bond is never guaranteed. It can be a fragile chain of events in need of support. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Systems extension educator Aaron Berger sees the process as complex. “Weather conditions, the environment the […] Read more