GFM Network News


Getting ready ahead of time can help ensure a successful calving season.

Prepare for spring calving

A few simple steps can set your operation up for success

Planning and preparing for the calving season can help not only minimize calf losses but also improve calves’ performance, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists. The nutrition status of the calving herd is one issue to consider in preparing for the upcoming spring calving season. “Although this should be an earlier concern,

This cow herd at NDSU’s Dickinson Research Extension Center is in the last trimester of gestation.

Body condition vital to calving success

Proper feed, good water and a reasonable space with wind protection will keep a cow content

During the last trimester of pregnancy in beef cows, the fetus grows rapidly, placing increasing nutrient demands on the cow. In addition, cold weather increases the cow’s nutrient requirements. “Body condition plays an important role in successfully wintering beef cows,” says Yuri Montanholi, North Dakota State University Extension beef cattle specialist. “Late weaning, overstocking, late


Newborn calves must suckle soon after birth to get the lifelong health benefits of consuming colostrum.

Is your calf getting enough colostrum?

Farmers may want to take product source, birth ease and method of feeding into account when determining if a calf has got enough colostrum in the first few hours

A calf should have a strong suckle reflex 10 minutes after birth, or they’ll likely need human help to get enough colostrum. That’s the message that Dr. Craig Dorin of Airdrie, Alta., had for producers as the early calving season gets underway. Dorin was one of two veterinarians to touch on colostrum during a recent

Make sure your calves get off to a proper start

Bee 911: Calves need adequate amounts of high-quality colostrum after birth and substitutes are a good option

There have been many articles written over the years on the value of calves receiving adequate amounts of good-quality colostrum. Also over the years, colostrum substitutes have come into greater and greater usage. Several things have led to this change. Colostrum substitutes have become higher quality and are more convenient than using frozen colostrum. As

Keeping a wary eye on a young foal will ensure the animal is getting a good start to life.

A 10-point checklist for the newborn foal

Horse Health: Tick the boxes to ensure your young foal is meeting developmental milestones and has no major issues

Recognizing healthy behaviour and development of the newborn foal is critical to identifying when something is amiss. Initial stages of illness in young foals are subtle and unfortunately can be easily overlooked. Therefore a checklist of 10 relevant questions can be a valuable resource when evaluating the newborn foal. Each question represents a significant milestone


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

Even very young calves appear to benefit from immunization.


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

Older, larger calves that have been preconditioned and have received 
pre-weaning vaccinations will have a better chance of staying healthy
in the feedlot.

Keeping calves healthy upon entry to the feedlot

A career veterinarian offers production advice in keeping calves healthy in the feedlot

Prevention is the best cure for feedlot losses, producers attending a recent backgrounding and feedlot school in Brandon were told. “Not only are we trying to keep calves alive, we are trying to keep them from getting sick altogether,” said Wayne Tomlinson, an extension veterinarian with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “We can’t do