GFM Network News


A plastic guard, or nose flap, discourages calves from weaning while allowing them to stay with their mothers.

Two-stage weaning reduces stress on calves

Plastic nose flap prevents nursing while allowing calves to stay 
with their mothers, which reduces stress

Two southern Alberta ranches are among those who have found a two-stage calf weaning program is less stressful for livestock and improves rate of gain. The two-stage weaning system involves processing calves about a week before the actual weaning day to apply a plastic guard, or nose flap, in the nose of each calf. The […] Read more

Scratch pads allow chickens to engage in natural behaviour.

New York Hutterite Colony adopts leading-edge poultry housing

The ‘furnished housing’ style features nesting areas, scratch pads and perches, 
which allow the birds to engage in natural behaviour

Lethbridge egg farmer Levi Hofer has one eye on the present, the other on the future. Hofer is the manager of the layer flock at the New York Hutterite Colony, which is home to new state-of-the-art facilities called “furnished housing.” It’s a new style that provides a more natural open environment, with nesting areas, scratch […] Read more



Caution urged in shipping cull cows

Canada’s beef producers have built a strong track record in transporting beef cattle safely and effectively, but the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) says one part of the industry that needs more attention is cull cows. Reynold Bergen Science Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) told the Canada Beef meeting in Calgary recently that […] Read more


Seven questions to consider in farm animal care

Key questions and concepts driving farm animal care progress for livestock producers and their industry

It may be the dog days of summer but in the world of farm animal care it’s also a time when new ideas and fresh progress are heating up. Here’s a rundown of several key questions and concepts to watch for in the months ahead. Who pays? It’s an unprecedented time of new standards and […] Read more



Time to consider solar energy for your farm?

Costs are down, equipment is dependable and long-term payback looks good, says ag engineer Kelly Lund

A group of about 60 Alberta producers has installed solar-electric generating units over the past year and so far the decision is looking like a good one. The installations were completed with support from the federal-provincial Growing Forward program. Quarterly performance feedback will provide the industry with important knowledge about how well these systems perform. […] Read more

World organizations are turning their attention to animal welfare Part two of two

Competitors South America and emerging European economies are stepping up their game on animal welfare

In part two of this look at key global developments, University of British Columbia animal welfare expert Dr. David Fraser highlights an innovative effort gaining steam in Canada, along with European and South American progress. On the home front, a key big-picture development that also promises to hold substantial profile on the global radar is […] Read more


The world turns its attention to animal welfare

World standards The World Organization for Animal Health starts with a focus on beef production


 Part 1 of 2 We hear a lot about how livestock welfare has become a front-burner issue around the world. But what specifically is happening at that big-picture global level that Canadian livestock producers and their industries should keep an eye on? University of British Columbia animal welfare expert Dr. David Fraser is often invited […] Read more

Livestock emergency trailers deployed across Alberta

Training course Program at Olds College will support workers operating and using these “livestock ER” trailers

Millions of livestock transported annually on Alberta roads now have an innovative new safeguard to support their care and welfare. A fleet of state-of-the-art livestock emergency-handling equipment trailers, are set for deployment in key areas of the province. In addition a new training course is being developed to support qualified workers operating and using these […] Read more