Modern broiler chickens grow rapidly to reach a weight of about two kilograms in less than six weeks.  |  Jamie Rothenburger photo

Research suggests chickens defining animal of our age

Among all domestic animal species, chickens have a special place in the history of human civilizations and on our dinner plates. Chickens were domesticated from wild jungle fowl that lived in the forests of southeastern Asia and spread via trade routes into the Middle East, Europe and Africa. During the establishment of European colonies worldwide, […] 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

Mice and rats are capable of carrying a wide variety of viruses, bacteria and parasitic worms that can be spread to other animals and people.  |  Getty images

Rodents on farms pose health risk to livestock, people

We all know intuitively that rats and mice on farms are a bad thing. With their continually erupting teeth, these rodents can chew and nibble their way through important infrastructure. They can destroy walls, pipes and equipment. Barn fires have often been attributed to damaged electrical wires, and rodent arsons are usually prime suspects. Rodents […] Read more


Bovine leukosis virus is a bigger problem in dairy cattle than beef herds.  |  File photo

Breeding bulls may be source of bovine leukosis virus

Bovine leukosis virus is a widespread viral infection in cattle in North America. Dairy cattle tend to have a higher level of infection with estimates of 14 percent of all dairy cows being infected with the virus. Older cows are often more likely to be infected. The virus is usually spread from animal to animal […] Read more

Dogs are more likely to get into a marijuana stash than cats because of their curiosity and often unscrupulous eating habits.  |  Getty Images

Marijuana toxicity can pose health problems for pets

The first time I treated a cannabis overdose was when a man brought in his beautiful, new nine-week-old puppy. The roly-poly bundle of joy had ripped open a baggy and gorged on the entire stash. The man was sick with worry and rightly so — marijuana toxicity can be very serious in pets. The recent […] Read more


Due to their lifestyle, farm dogs have unique health and wellness considerations that differ from pampered city pooches. |  Getty image

Farm dogs require unique health care requirements due to lifestyle

Dogs are dogs. They all have the same basic genes, whether they are Great Danes or Dachshunds. They also have relatively similar anatomy, immune systems and metabolism. All dogs are susceptible to certain infections and conditions. But due to their lifestyle, farm dogs have some unique health and wellness considerations that differ from pampered city […] 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

Longhorned ticks are new to North America. They can carry infectious diseases.  |  New Jersey Department of Agriculture photo

Longhorned tick arrival shows need for surveillance

Ticks come in two basic varieties. The so-called “hard ticks” are from the family known as Ixodidae and are characterized by a hard plate on their backs. Soft ticks (family Argasidae) lack this hard, protective plate and are usually more oval or pear-shaped. Ticks can carry a variety of infectious diseases and can infect humans, […] Read more


Before summer pasture turnout, cattle should be treated to ensure vaccinations are up to date and fly or worm control is provided if necessary.  |  Robyn Wheat photo

Pre-turnout procedures can pay off in productivity

Whether it is grass yearlings or cow-calf pairs and breeding bulls, management procedures can and should be implemented before releasing cattle to pasture. The result is better health or increased performance this summer. We likely won’t get our hands on these cattle until fall so think into the future. Some have the luxury of herding […] Read more

Laboratory testing is done at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. As summer approaches, officials are on the lookout for whirling disease in fish.  |  University of Calgary photo

Deadly fish disease continues spread in Western Canada

With the summer lake season just around the corner, fish and game officials are on high alert for additional cases of the deadly whirling disease in fish. The disease is caused by a tiny parasite called Myxobolus cerebralis, a microscopic pathogen that attacks the cartilage of growing fish, causing damage and inflammation in the skull […] Read more