Latest articles

A newborn black angus calf with it's mother

Beef 911: Easy treatments for young calves?

Modern treatments can minimize stress and handling of calves

Over the years many of the effective treatments for bacterial scours and some for pneumonia in newborn calves have been taken away from us. Other antibiotics used in conditions such as viral scours are simply precautionary to prevent secondary bacterial invasion. You all remember products such as synergistin, gentomycin and baytril which have either been […] Read more

Beef 911: The facts about the dangers of antibiotic resistance

The cattle industry is doing a good job to prevent resistance and we are improving those efforts

There has been volumes written on antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance in the last several years. This article will highlight some of the key points on how well the cattle industry is doing so far and predict what changes veterinarians may make in their recommendations going forward. For those of you who crave more detailed information, there are […] Read more

Beef 911: Vaccinating young calves

More vaccines are happening earlier and while performing other procedures

There has been lots of trial work over the years regarding vaccinations of calves and when is the most ideal time. Immunologists debate this but as situations on farms changed and herds got larger, trends changed. Herd owners no longer boostered vaccines at four to six weeks apart, as was often recommended. Summer pneumonias cropped […] Read more

Beef 911: Calving problems are becoming rare, but be prepared to act

The first key step is to note when the birth process starts and investigate if too much time passes

Numerous articles have been written over the years on how and when to intervene at calving, how to recognize malpresentations, and what to do about them. Producers now see fewer and fewer calving-related problems as our breeding has improved and we select for easy-calving heifers with larger pelvises and moderate birth weight bulls. Ensuring cattle […] Read more

Beef 911: Assess the risk when bringing in calves

Mingling animals, transport times, light weights, and even weather can be factors that increase the risk of BRD

There are many factors to consider when bringing in calves to feed in order to minimize BRD (bovine respiratory disease), which is still the No. 1 cause of morbidity and often mortality in our feedlots. Knowing the history of the calves regarding weaning time, distance transported, vaccination, and health history — as well as upcoming […] Read more

Beef 911: We need to do better when it comes to castration

Doing it early and properly brings benefits to the producers, addresses animal welfare concerns, and prevents problems later on

We now have many tools at our disposal when it comes to castration of calves in the beef and dairy sectors of our industry. When used together in skilled hands, newer techniques at castration along with NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatories) will insure welfare issues are addressed. Much has changed in the feedlot industry. Cattle are […] Read more

Beef 911: Body condition scoring pays dividends

Fattening thin cows and feeding less to fat ones will boost performance

Body condition scoring really means assessing the condition and fat cover on your cow to enable you to feed them for optimal growth and reproductive performance. It may mean separating the fat and thin groups from the main herd, which allows you to feed them separately to save feed on the fat ones and build […] Read more

Beef 911: The revised Beef Code of Practice a win for everyone

Everyone involved in the cattle industry should keep a copy handy and consult it frequently

There has been a lot written about the revised Beef Code of Practice, which was released in 2013 and was the first revision since 1991. It is most definitely worth a read, whether you are a beef producer, transporter, marketer, nutritionist, veterinarian, or are involved with the cattle industry in any way. At 56 pages, […] Read more

Beef 911: Don’t let freemartins become a management headache in your herd

Some will reproduce normally and are well worth keeping, but others need to be culled

With better nutrition and management and a higher incidence of twins in the Charolais, Simmental, and Holstein breeds, some larger herds can have up to a 10 per cent twinning rate. With the odds of 50 per cent of the twins being mixed sexes, it is no wonder freemartins are not an uncommon occurrence. Remember […] Read more

Beef 911: The pros and cons of hormone-free beef programs

There’s a lot of confusion about these programs — here’s a take from a veterinary perspective

With all the terms we are hearing in the beef industry — such as organic, natural, hormone free, sustainable — there is no doubt confusion even for you the producers trying to raise cattle to fit into these programs. Most of these branded or niche programs are trying to differentiate themselves from the traditional ways […] Read more