Category: UCVM Beef Cattle Conference

Necropsies Under-Utilized in Cow/Calf Production, Say Professors

We’ve all heard that phrase, often used to console in the gruff way most ranchers know best. “When you have livestock, you have deadstock.” But that phrase places too much emphasis on the notion that the death is out of our hands. It’s not. While we must not beat ourselves up for lost animals, there’s still something that… Read more »

On-Ranch Biosecurity — There’s No Easy Way Out

The word “biosecurity” can conjure up some interesting images, not limited to an overabundance of showers, hard-drives of paperwork and hazmat suits. But, ensuring good levels of on-farm biosecurity doesn’t have to be overwhelming. “There’s been so much focus on biosecurity as a word,” says Franklyn Garry, professor at Colorado State University, “that it does, it… Read more »

A Case of Chronic Enteritis with a Bleak Diagnosis — Johne’s

It’s a diagnosis no cattle producer wants to hear, and it’s likely much more prevalent than we realize. Caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Johne’s causes chronic enteritis (inflammation of the intestine), diarrhea and progressive weight loss in cattle. Despite the seemingly obvious symptoms in infected animals, the disease has characteristics that can make it difficult… Read more »

Infected from Within — Diagnosing an ‘Atypical Case of Lameness’

It’s easy to jump to conclusions when diagnosing issues in livestock. But, when a team from the University of Calgary, stumbled upon a case of lameness that just didn’t seem to be going away, they knew to look beyond the oft-blamed culprit of footrot. “This was a very experienced producer. He had a lot of animals,… Read more »

Categorizing, Treating and Preventing Neonatal Scours in Calves

You go out to check the cows, and you see a calf with scours — what do you do? For many producers, the first course of action involves a bolus gun. But, it’s actions like this that have led Franklyn Garry, professor at Colorado State University, to unabashedly assert that “we grossly overuse antibiotics.” Neonatal Scours… Read more »

Ruminating with RealAg, Ep. 10 — Sub-Cutaneous, Modified-Live and Over-Whelming: Developing a Vaccination Protocol

There’s no doubt that having a vaccination protocol on hand could save booster misses, bring all farm employees to the same page and improve overall confidence in our herd health programs. But, developing that protocol can be more than a little overwhelming. At the 2015 UCVM Beef Cattle Conference, I (finally!) tracked down Cody Creelman, veterinarian… Read more »

Broaching a Difficult Subject: The Proper Euthanasia of Bovids

There are few things on livestock operations more difficult than deciding whether or not to euthanize an animal. And according to Jan Shearer, professor at Iowa State University, we tend to let that decision go on way too long. Shearer was a speaker at this year’s UCVM Beef Cattle Conference pre-conference, where he spoke on the difficult subject…. Read more »

TWORA — AgTech Week, Antibiotics and the Status of Supply Management — June 25

The diversity of North American agriculture is again on display in this week’s news podcast. From the farmer’s role in fighting antibiotic resistance to how Canadian dairy farmers could be affected by a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership to the trends at AgTech Week down in San Francisco, here’s a summary of what happened “This Week on Real… Read more »

Developing a Scoring System to Predict a Newborn Calf’s Ability to Suckle

Elizabeth Homerosky, doctor of  veterinary medicine and Simpson Ranch Fellow at the University of Calgary, is looking at developing a scoring system that might enable producers to predict a calf’s ability to consume colostrum on its own, in a timely manner. So far, the data seems to point in a rather unsurprising direction: suckling reflex…. Read more »

A Pill for Every Ill: Our Own Complacency to Blame for the Growing Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance

It’s our own complacency that brought on the threat of antimicrobial resistance, says Trisha Dowling, a professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “We got complacent just pretty much thinking there was a pill for every ill. So there’s been a whole lot of use of antibiotics just in case someone or… Read more »

The Importance of Segregating Ill or Injured Animals

The 5th annual UCVM Beef Cattle Conference is officially underway today, following a rather insightful day of pre-conference workshops at the University of Calgary’s Spyhill Campus. The pre-conference dealt with proper management of cattle, covering low-stress handling techniques, treatment protocols and humane euthanasia. For now, I’ll report on the middle ground, as I’ve covered cattle… Read more »