Calves must be nutritionally healthy and old enough for preconditioning to be most effective.  |  File photo

Preconditioning, BVD vaccines are ideal in perfect world

There are different sectors of the cattle industry with different needs and objectives. By raising points on what certain management practices are ideal, perhaps we can collectively work toward those practices. It’s not easy but if better outcomes can be achieved for all, so much the better. We know preconditioning, which includes preimmunization and on-farm […] Read more

A lot of work has gone into the new transportation regulations.
 | File photo

Livestock transportation has seen major improvements

A lot of work has gone into the new transportation regulations. For cattle and bison, previous regulations were working well. Long trailer hauls to packing plants or feedlots in Canada and the United States recorded a success rates of more than 99.9 percent. It’s possible to improve, but a lot of the culture around loading […] Read more

This external parasite releases a neurotoxin through its mouthparts that can paralyze livestock. 
In certain areas of the country it can be a major health problem in cattle. | File photo

Tick paralysis increasing in cattle

Ticks are being found in increasing frequency in our food-producing animals and domestic pets. They cause concerns because some species carry transmissible diseases that can affect humans, such as Lyme disease. Others cause blood-loss irritation and others cause paralysis. The most commonly found tick on cattle in Western Canada is the Rocky Mountain wood tick […] Read more


Making improvements to chutes and corrals is one of the ways that cattle producers can make their operations more efficient and economical.  |  File photo

Ways to save time and labour in cow-calf operations

Time and labour are often in short supply at cow-calf operations, but there are ways producers can save both, while also saving a bit of money. Drones should be used on most larger operations for checking cattle, checking fences, checking watering troughs, finding lost cattle and identifying sick ones. Drones are quick and the images […] Read more

Producers and veterinarians may need to change how they routinely treat cattle for lice.  |  Jeannette Greaves photo

Lice increase in prevalence across Western Canada

For the second winter in a row pharmaceutical companies are hearing lots of complaints about scratching cattle and hair loss. This means that producers and veterinarians may need to change how they routinely treat for lice. First, a positive diagnosis is important. We may handle biting lice, sucking lice and chorioptic mange differently and many […] Read more


Nervous cows are less likely to reinitiate uterine contractions.  |  File photo

Lack of contractions in calving cows has various causes

There have been several instances during my career when an unexplained delay in calving has resulted in stillborn or weak calves because the calving process was too long. I would guess that most producers have run into this problem at one time or another. Although not much research has been done on the subject and […] Read more

Udder edema is particularly prevalent in dairy cows.  | File photo

Knowing when to treat is crucial when udder edema cases appear

Producers sometimes have trouble recognizing udder edema. It is fluid accumulation within the udder and teats and ahead of the udder as bred cattle (primarily heifers) get close to giving birth. The fluid entrapment can lead to an uncomfortable condition and has the potential to cause mastitis. It could also impair long-term milk production. Udder […] Read more

Producers need to take steps to ensure their cattle have adequate traction in the chute when processing and loading them. |  File photo

Finding ways to improve cattle’s footing pays dividends

Many feedlot audits in Canada and the United States look at slips, trips or falls of cattle, especially when loading or processing, and record the percentage for good reason. There are specific areas where footing can be improved or altered. As well, new methods can be used to improve animal welfare and decrease injuries. Producers […] Read more


Producers must consider if vaccines are missing every time they process cattle.  |  File photo

Lapses in vaccination programs can have consequences

Veterinarians and producers must be constantly reviewing vaccination protocols to check for lapses in booster shot administration, missed antigens in vaccines and new or emerging diseases for which vaccines are available. Cattle that are transported into areas where other diseases are more prevalent have often been the cause of outbreaks to such things as redwater […] Read more

Warm vaccines before injecting to avoid tissue reactions. | File photo

Processing and vaccinating hints for cattle producers

Developing safe vaccination protocols for your herd can pay off. Here are some basic tips: Store vaccines in the middle area of the fridge. Follow the label instructions and maintain the chain of refrigeration. Check fridge to ensure it stays at the desirable temperature. Keep a thermometer in the fridge. Don’t store vaccines in the […] Read more