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sweet clover

Livestock producers, beware of sweet clover toxicity

Mould can convert the naturally occurring chemical coumarin into an anticoagulant

Improperly curing hay made from certain sweet clover varieties such as white and yellow sweet clover can cause severe and often fatal hemorrhages in livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats. “Unfortunately, proper harvesting can be difficult,” says Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock stewardship specialist and veterinarian. “If cutting is delayed […] Read more

round hay bale feeder

Feeding round hay bales to horses has risks

Concentration of nutrients and overfeeding are among the potential problems

Convenience and dollar savings are often cited as two major advantages when feeding round baled hay, especially when feeding groups of horses. At first glance these advantages may seem obvious, but for actual economic benefit certain conditions need to be met and the inherent health risks to the horses being fed round bales need to […] Read more

Dealing with the eight top equine emergencies

When to call the vet and what to do until he or she arrives

Most horse owners will at some time encounter an emergency. Recognizing a true veterinary emergency and knowing appropriate first aid care until the veterinarian arrives can substantially improve the equine patient’s outcome. Colic is the most common cause for emergency calls. Colic is a broad term which describes abdominal pain or “pain in the belly.” […] Read more

Wool fibre production for dummies

How one manages the flock can make the difference between getting good fleece or getting ‘fleeced’

Randy Eros, a shepherd from just outside Winnipeg, jokingly blames his wife when explaining why they are in the sheep business. Eros and his wife began raising sheep more than 30 years ago — initially just for wool. “It’s my wife’s fault,” he told a workshop at the Manitoba Fibre Festival Sept. 6. “She’s a […] Read more

More horse owners seeking alternative therapies

Veterinary and alternative therapies can be part of an integrated treatment plan

Seeking solutions to help horses heal and feel better outside of traditional and conventional veterinary medicine is becoming increasingly commonplace. Horse owners are not necessarily rejecting conventional medicine, rather they simply feel that alternative modalities offer complementary approaches. For example in addition to using anti-inflammatory drugs to ease muscle pain, they may also use chiropractic, […] Read more

VIDEO: Don’t call these tiny horses ‘ponies’

Bringing Icelandic horses to Manitoba was a dream of his late father’s. Nearly 30 years later they’re still part of the Arnason family

Brett Arnason remembers the first time he saw an Icelandic horse. This was no horse, he thought. This was a pony. But his father Frank, in the mid-1980s, who was raising thoroughbreds near here thought otherwise. The elder Arnason had grown increasingly interested in the capabilities of the Icelandic horse, and had started to talk […] Read more

Horses communicate with their eyes and mobile ears

Study also challenges notion that animals with eyes on the sides of their heads cannot glean information from each other

Horses are sensitive to the facial expressions and attention of other horses, including the direction of the eyes and ears. The findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on August 4, are a reminder for us humans to look beyond our own limitations and recognize that other species may communicate in ways that […] Read more

The most common cause of lameness in horses

There are many things horse owners and riders can do to prevent the onset of arthritis

Recent estimates show that approximately 60 per cent of lameness problems in horses are related to arthritis. As a result the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis in horses has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Since arthritis is rarely curable and at best manageable, it is worthwhile to consider the contributing factors that place horses at risk […] Read more

Regaining access to China markets

Tainted food scandals have convinced Chinese buyers that imports are safer

Cervid (elk and other deer) products have been used and prized in China for at least 2,700 years. That makes China a very valuable marketplace for cervid products. Indeed, it was a good market until Canada and the U.S. took action to contain and eradicate BSE in early 2003. China immediately closed its markets to […] Read more

Hay shortages loom for cattle sector

Many producers are having to graze their hayfields

Heavy rains and overland flooding have put the status of this year’s grazing and hay supplies in serious doubt, cattle producers say. It’s an evolving situation, but the financial impact of flooding and excess moisture will devastate producers especially since many have not recovered from 2011 flooding, says Manitoba Beef Producers. The association is meeting […] Read more