Better Tests for Trich and Vibrio



This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Trichomoniasis (trich, or “trick”) and bovine genital campylobacteriosis (vibrio) are venereal diseases that cause early embryonic death, repeat breeding, large numbers of open cows at the end of the breeding season, an extended calving season, and enormous economic losses. The microbes that cause trich and vibrio live in the reproductive tracts of infected cattle, but don’t enter the tissues or the bloodstream. Cows and heifers can clear these infections but bulls generally can’t, because the microbes live in the folds of the foreskin. These diseases are difficult to treat, because Continue reading

When is artificial insemination more economical in beef herds?

Although artificial insemination (AI) of cattle has been possible for 60 years, this technology has not been used widely in the Canadian beef industry.  Genetic evaluation of beef bulls has improved considerably in recent years, making bull selection more objective and reliable.  Sexed semen, expected progeny differences (EPDs) and the ability to select for specific traits identified through DNA markers are now available. Recent scientific studies have also greatly increased our understanding of reproductive function in cattle and have improved our ability to regulate their reproductive cycles.

The true costs of natural service are often underestimated. Buying bulls rather than semen packages is less economical in some cases, even with commercial cattle.  By evaluating the costs and benefits of natural service versus AI, producers can determine which program (or combination) will Continue reading

Boosting the calf crop percentage in your beef herd: Webinar on Feb. 25

 

Updated February 28, 2014: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on the Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

Reproduction is the basis of profitability in the cow-calf sector.  Of course the closer a producer can get to having 100% of their cows deliver healthy, uniform calves that thrive through to weaning, the better their bottom line.  Register for this free webinar to hear from industry experts on how those reproductive goals can be achieved. You’ll also hear how ongoing investments in research have improved reproductive efficiency in Canada’s beef herd, and what issues still need to be tackled. Continue reading

Avoid open and late bred cows: new video about trich and vibrio

Although we hope that every cows and heifer will come home from pasture bred, we learn to expect a few to be open. But if you notice cows cycling again a few months after the bull is turned out, you find far more open cows than normal when preg-checking, or calves are born months later than expected, there’s clearly a problem. You might be dealing with bovine venereal diseases like trichmoniasis (trich, pronounced “trick”) or vibriosis (vibrio, and also known as Campylobacteriosis). Continue reading

Improved test for vibriosis in bulls



Venereal diseases like trichomoniasis (trich) and vibriosis (vibrio) remain common causes of reproductive failure in cow-calf herds in western Canada. Unlike trich, there is no good diagnostic test available for vibrio.

A recently-completed research project funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster studied polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which detect specific DNA sequences, as a potentially cost-effective and practical diagnostic testing strategy for identifying beef cattle with vibrio. Continue reading