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Lightweight cattle continue to do quite well at Manitoba cattle auctions, according to two people heavily involved with the cattle industry. | File photo

Weekly Manitoba Cattle Report: Good market for lightweights

WINNIPEG – Lightweight cattle continue to do quite well at Manitoba cattle auctions, according to two people heavily involved with the cattle industry. “Lightweights were up quite a bit. Anything that’s under 600 pounds, going to the grass, certainly has a strong market,” said Harold Unrau of Grunthal Livestock Auction Market. At Grunthal’s Feb. 12 […] Read more

Oh, snap

The Polar Vortex pays a visit The polar vortex is an area of cold air with low amospheric pressure in the Arctic. It exists year-round, its winds swirling counterclockwise and inward towards the North Pole. The polar vortex is constrained by the polar jet stream, a narrow, fast-flowing current of air in our upper atmosphere […] Read more

In a letter dated Feb. 6, a bevy of humane societies from Montreal to Vancouver, along with animal welfare and animal rights groups including Mercy for Animals, Toronto Pig Save, Animal Alliance of Canada and the Save Movement, asked MacAulay to release updates to the Health of Animals Regulations — Humane Transportation, which has been in the works for years.
 | File photo

Feds pressed on new animal transportation regulations

Thirty signatories in a letter to federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay have asked for immediate release of new rules governing livestock transport. In a letter dated Feb. 6, a bevy of humane societies from Montreal to Vancouver, along with animal welfare and animal rights groups including Mercy for Animals, Toronto Pig Save, Animal Alliance of […] Read more


The company that invented the CowToilet says cows use it voluntarily because each visit to the toilet also provides them with feed.  |  Hanskamp photo

Cattle urinal to cut ammonia emissions

A new piece of livestock equipment designed in the Netherlands has left farmers feeling a little flushed. Hanskamp, a company based in Doetinchem, has developed a cow toilet that collects urine in an effort to reduce ammonia. Designed primarily to ease increasing regulations on the dairy industry, the CowToilet is an automatic urinal that cows […] Read more

Dr. Cody Creelman uses his Palpation Nation video blog to increase business and generate clients’ trust in him.  |  Palpation Nation photo

Palpation Nation takes internet by storm

An Alberta veterinarian uses video and a website to share with the public the human side of livestock health care

The T-shirt with a silhouette of a man with his arm thrust into a cow’s nether region was a joke, at first. Now it’s an in-demand item for fans of Palpation Nation, the video blog created and populated by the exploits of Dr. Cody Creelman, also known as The Cow Vet. Since his first “vlog” […] Read more


A decision by Earls in 2016 to buy beef from ranches in the United States that met certain standards for animal welfare was not popular in Canada, and the company quickly changed its mind. Sylvain Charlebois from Dalhousie University says that was a mistake.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Earls’ backtracking called regrettable

Food policy professor says industry could have worked with restaurant chain to produce ‘certified humane’ beef

BRANDON — When Sylvain Charlebois began talking about the Earls restaurant chain, the audience of cattle producers inside the conference room became almost silent. In 2016, Earls announced a change in the type of beef sold at its restaurants. It was shifting to a “certified humane” program, where Earls would buy beef from ranches in […] Read more

The swathing dates that producers use for cutting for winter grazing actually come from recommendations for cutting cereals for a silage pit, says Bart Lardner of the University of Saskatchewan.  |  File photo

Swath later for better winter grazing

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — Research into the optimal stage of maturity to swath grain for winter grazing suggests later than previous recommendations. University of Saskatchewan beef scientist Bart Lardner said producers have typically cut barley or triticale at the soft dough stage and oats at the late milk stage. But he said those recommendations actually […] Read more

Proper diagnosis is important when treating lameness, which is why good pen checkers can be invaluable to a feedlot operation.  |  File photo

Lameness control can boost feedlot efficiency

Pen checkers can play a pivotal role when it comes to limiting diseases in feedlot cattle associated with lameness

Lameness in beef cattle can be painful, not only for the affected animal but also for a feedlot operator’s bottom line. That’s why diagnosing lameness early, treating it decisively and taking steps to prevent it in the first place are so important. Dr. Phil Klassen, a Coaldale, Alta., veterinarian and expert on feedlot lameness, said […] Read more


The “all in, all out” scenario that batch farrowing creates for piglets can improve piglet care and makes it easier to control disease outbreaks with limited production loss.  |  File photo

Batch farrowing beneficial but has challenges

Having all of a barn’s sows farrow at the same time can be better for piglet health but also more difficult to manage

BANFF, Alta. — Batch farrowing is getting attention among western Canadian hog producers. The system of having all sows in the barn farrow in the same narrow time window can have major benefits for piglet health, but it also has challenges for management. “It’s quite common in Europe. Probably in Western Canada it’s less than […] 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