Most experts suggest sampling at least 20 bales from different parts of the field rather than just the bales that are readily accessible. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Testing more important than ever due to alternative feed

It’s time to start planning our winter feeding programs for our cow herds. This year, there will be a lot of alternative feeds used in Western Canada because of the drought. That means feed testing will become more important than usual. I’ve come up with the five steps to consider when getting feed tested. Get […] Read more

Intranasals have come a long way since the early days and are more often used on very young calves or cattle entering feedlots where quick immunity is necessary. | File photo

New intranasal vaccines offer calves combined protection

There has been considerable research into intranasal vaccines and how they can improve the health of the Canadian cattle herd, especially calves. Those of us who have been around awhile can remember the first intranasal vaccines for IBR that were safe to give pregnant cows to prevent abortions from the virus. At one time we […] Read more

The porcine epidemic diarrhea outbreaks that wreaked havoc on North American hog herds in recent years led to feed component import controls to improve animal health security. | File photo

PED shone light on importance of feed import controls

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, another coronavirus was wreaking havoc in North America, only this one was attacking pigs. This coronavirus causes porcine epidemic diarrhea, a severe disease in which pigs go off feed, vomit, have diarrhea and often die. The virus is shed in large volumes in the feces and other pigs become infected when […] Read more

Cattle are particularly susceptible to fog fever if they are suddenly moved from a dry and overgrazed pasture to a situation where there is unlimited access to lush regrowth. These free-ranging cattle roam the Highwood River Valley in the mountains west of Longview, Alta., during the summer. Once fall arrives, they are rounded up and brought to lower elevations. | Wendy Dudley photo

Risk of fog fever in cattle potentially higher this autumn

In many parts of Western Canada, we have suffered through a significant drought this grazing season. As well, in some areas we have seen some precipitation late in the summer and early fall, which has resulted in regrowth of forages on pasture. These are ideal conditions for a potentially fatal condition known as fog fever, […] Read more

A new product called Clean-Up II provides another viable option for lice control in Western Canada. | File photo

New product provides producers with viable option for lice control

Lice have been on the increase the last few years and it appears resistance to the ivermectin products may be part of the problem. As well, treatment timing, proper application, weather conditions and dosage could be factors. The type of lice can make a difference because biting lice feed on the skin surface, move around […] Read more

Antibodies generated by pregnant females are fully formed and 
functional when they enter the blood stream of the offspring and 
give passive protection against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. | File photo

Maternal vaccines help protect neonates from disease

Maternal vaccines are given to pregnant females to protect their offspring from infectious diseases. Administering specific vaccines during late pregnancy harnesses the ancient evolutionary mechanism by which dams pass on antibodies to their neonates. Antibodies generated by pregnant females are fully formed and functional when they enter the blood stream of the offspring and give […] Read more

Drought-stressed crops can significantly accumulate nitrates, which can cause problems if fed to cattle this winter. | Mary MacArthur photo

Drought raises possibility of nitrate toxicity this year

Nitrate poisoning in cattle is a potential issue to be aware of in years with significant drought. There will probably be significant amounts of drought-stressed cereal crops that are fed to beef cattle this winter in parts of Western Canada and we know that drought-stressed small grains and corn can accumulate nitrates to a significant […] Read more

Producers should follow the lead of their herd veterinarian before making any changes to prevention or treatment of feedlot cattle. | File photo

Antimicrobial market expands with new generic drugs

A widely used macrolide antibiotic used to prevent respiratory disease in cattle has come off patent. When the Draxxin antimicrobial first reached the market, there was huge uptake in the Canadian feedlot industry. Zuprevo, Micotil and Zactran, all used primarily for treatment of bacterial respiratory disease, are in the same macrolide family. Now that the […] Read more

K’s Thomson of Lundbreck, Alta., rides Ambitious Bubbles in the saddle bronc event at this year’s Calgary Stampede. A three-year study found that horses’ behaviour in the chute isn’t connected to their performance in the ring. | Reuters/Todd Korol photo

Bucking horse research finds that handler behaviour matters

Over the years I’ve spent as a competitor and observer of rodeos, it seemed evident that the mature campaigner broncs were generally calm, loaded well into the chutes and stood for their equipment and rider, while the green stock were more likely to balk, head toss and kick. New research from the University of Calgary’s […] Read more

Early weaning can be a management tactic that might prove beneficial in some situations. | Getty Images

Early weaning in next year’s calf crop may offer advantages

In a year with significant drought issues in many parts of Western Canada and limited pasture, early weaning can be a management tactic that might prove beneficial in some situations. Dry cows have lower nutritional requirements than lactating cows and therefore may be able to improve in body weight and body condition score if their […] Read more