Research indicates that provision of pain relief after calving promotes cow recovery and appetite and improves milk production.  |  File photo

Calving 101: dystocia, intervention and feeding

A veterinarian says knowing when and how to intervene in a difficult birth can improve the odds for both cow and calf

FORT MACLEOD, Alta. — Calving season is underway, or soon will be, on ranches across the Prairies and a refresher on handling calving basics can come in handy. Dr. Melissa Moggy, speaking in her role with the Alberta Farm Animal Care Association, provided basic tips at the Feb. 11 Rural Roots Ag Days in Fort […] Read more

Three deadly conditions for calves can be easily prevented with vaccination and mineral supplementation.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Disease can be bad news for calves

Blackleg, tetanus and white muscle disease are three deadly conditions for calves. “These three diseases result in compromised muscle function in calves and are not seen often, but when you do see them, it tends to affect more than one calf,” said Werner Debertin of New Brunswick’s provincial veterinary services. “All three are lethal if […] Read more

Elizabeth Homerosky of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta., tests a calf’s suckling ability.  |  Supplied photo

Research studies colustrum quality factors

Suckling is the best way for calves to consume colostrum because it goes directly from the esophagus to the true stomach

Getting calves off to a good start in life begins with that first drink of colostrum. Colostrum contains essential immunoglobulins to build immunity against calf-hood diseases. Imunoglobulins are antibodies that pass on immunity to the babies in the colostrum. Colostrum also contains vitamins, minerals and calories. Researchers at the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary […] Read more


A pregnant cow can eat 20 to 25 percent straw if they get grain and hay. The ration also needs to be balanced for protein, energy, trace minerals and vitamins. | File photo

Healthy cow diets improve calf success

Gestating cows need a healthy diet to maintain their body weight, produce good milk for their calves and prepare for the next breeding season. “What you do now dramatically impacts next year’s calf crop,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio of Alberta Agriculture. “We are not feeding for this year’s calf and as long […] Read more

Healthy feet give bulls a solid base

Foot problems are the biggest issue for bulls next to reproduction culls and need to be part of a breeding assessment

Feet and legs need to be checked when bulls are evaluated for breeding soundness. Producers select for strong feet and legs because structural soundness of the feet and legs is vital so bulls can travel and mount females in heat. “If problems are starting in a young one, it is different from a five- or […] Read more


Project hopes EPDs can catch lameness early

Members of the Canadian Angus Association are asked to score cows when they come in this fall for pregnancy checks

Lameness in cattle is a painful condition that affects their welfare and overall performance. Good feet and legs are primary considerations when selecting animals that can travel easily across the range. The Canadian Angus Association received nearly $240,000 in federal funding for a two-year project to generate genomically enhanced expected progeny differences for feet and […] Read more

Julia Palmer of Scott Palmer Ranching says her operation is able to extract a premium from the marketplace because of the certified grass-fed designation the ranch has obtained from A Greener World.  |  File photo

Producers eye beef certification programs

Some join these types of programs for the premium prices, while others do so to improve consumer confidence

Canadian consumers have myriad choices when it comes to quality beef. Among those choices is product from certified grass-fed programs that have an audited process guaranteeing the beef comes from cattle raised in a specific way. Several Alberta cattle producers have chosen an Oregon-based certifier as a way to provide consumers with information about their […] Read more

Producers are advised to provide the highest quality feed to the animals with the highest requirements.  |  File photo

Forage quality tough on nutrition

Production of quality beef starts at an early age for calves. Adequate nutrition from birth — and even before birth — is vital to production of beef that will yield well and meet end-user requirements. Given the recent growing year, the high quality forage beneficial to lactating cows, growing calves and replacement heifers is likely […] Read more


Implants must be used properly to get full performance and product quality.  |  File photo

Proper use urged for growth implants

Implants reduce the labour and carbon footprint per serving of beef, but it’s important to use them correctly

Carcass quality and thus the quality of beef can be affected by use of growth implants — for better and for worse, depending on how they are used. Robbi Pritchard, ruminant nutritionist with South Dakota State University, gave that message at a recent Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo, Texas, and supplemented the message at the […] Read more

Belvin Angus received the Certified Angus Beef Canadian Commitment to Excellence award earlier this year. A family run operation for 40 years, it is owned by Gavin and Mabel Hamilton, Colton Hamilton and Quinn and Brendyn Elliot of Bowden, Alta.  |  Canadian Angus Association photo

Alta. Angus ranch receives honour

Certified Angus Beef has turned into a North American program that recognizes the contributions of producers everywhere. This year Belvin Angus, owned by Gavin and Mabel Hamilton, was recognized for its 40-year contribution to the breed and promotion of quality beef. The couple bought their original farm in central Alberta in 1978 and registered their […] Read more