How to Increase your Odds of Having Healthy Calves



Calving is a natural process, but sometimes disease, weather, and many other factors can cause stress. How can beef producers best prepare newborn calves to get a healthy start? What are some effective ways to enable calves to be resilient against bugs like bacteria, viruses or other pathogens they will encounter? How can farmers and ranchers manage disease if and when it strikes?

“Having healthy calves takes planning,” said Dr. Claire Windeyer, Assistant Professor in Cattle Health at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Program. Windeyer shared a number of useful ideas during two previous webinars, Management During Calving Season for Healthier, More Productive Calves and Managing Young Calves to Prevent Disease. Many practices can be implemented on-farm immediately and there are links below to particular segments of the video. Continue reading

That’s gotta hurt

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


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Marketing executives for grocery and restaurant chains track consumer perceptions and attitudes towards issues like livestock production practices, animal welfare and pain control. These surveys sometimes lead to initiatives that impose specific production standards on suppliers so the company can distinguish itself and showcase its products.

From the other side, animal welfare researchers study how beef cattle respond to painful procedures like castration, dehorning and branding, and the benefit of providing pain medication. This knowledge is central to updating the science-based Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle.

But what about the producer, who’s responsible for day to day animal care, and who pays for the added costs of any production requirement that is ultimately imposed by law, industry standard, or marketing programs? A better understanding of what motivates (or discourages) producers when it comes to animal care is critical, if new pain control practices are to be adopted.

An upcoming Continue reading

Tips to improve calf health this calving season



We know that disease causing agents are present in beef cattle herds, even when the most careful biosecurity procedures are followed. In general, basic management of calves and calving groups will play a greater role in whether or not calves get sick than the presence or absence of most disease causing pathogens.

During a webinar hosted by the BCRC in 2015, Dr. Claire Windeyer, veterinarian, professor and researcher at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, discussed management during the calving season that can lead to healthier and more productive calves. During the webinar, she provided numerous tips on how to manage both cows and calves to reduce disease incidence and increase calf survival rate.

Here are three highlights from that webinar, followed by the full recording: Continue reading

Managing young calves to prevent disease: Webinar December 8

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

Calves are at a higher risk for sickness and disease in the first months of life. Join this webinar to hear this veterinarian’s tips on how to manage calves through this critical time for a healthier, more productive calf crop.

When

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Thursday December 8, at 7:00 pm MT

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB
  • 8:00pm in SK and MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI 

Interested but aren’t available that evening?
Register anyway! This webinar will be recorded and posted online at a later date. All registrants will receive a link to the recording and additional learning resources. By attending the live event, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and ask questions too.

Register now

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Find and register for more BCRC webinars here, including:

  • Swath and bale grazing strategies – November 23, 2016
  • What is the environmental footprint of beef production? – November 28, 2016

Watching on a tablet or mobile device?
If you plan to join the webinar using your tablet or mobile device, you will need to  Continue reading

Tips to improve the health and vigor of newborn calves

We know that disease causing agents are present in beef cattle herds, even if the most careful biosecurity procedures are observed. In general, basic management of calves and calving groups will play a greater role in whether or not calves get sick than the presence or absence of most disease causing pathogens.
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In a webinar hosted by the BCRC last winter, Dr. Claire Windeyer, veterinarian, professor and researcher at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, discussed management during the calving season for healthier and more productive calves. During the webinar, she provided numerous tips on how to manage both cows and calves to reduce disease incidences and increase calf survival rate.

Here are three highlights from that webinar, followed by the full recording: Continue reading

Management during calving season for healthier, more productive calves and cows: Webinar on Dec. 18

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

With calf prices as high as they are, cow-calf producers are motivated as ever to know what more they can do to get through calving season with as many live, healthy calves as possible, and healthy cows that rebreed early. Research offers evidence-based clues and tips for best practices during calving season. A survey of Alberta cow-calf producers in 2013 discovered how management during calving season relates to death loss and illness rates of calves. Join this webinar for advice that can help producers across the country make more informed choices during Continue reading