Latest articles


An ounce of prevention is worth 100 pounds

Beef 911: Calves that get sick early in life struggle to catch up with their herdmates 
and are prone to getting ill again


Over the years, many of the effective treatments for bacterial scours and some for pneumonia in newborn calves have been taken away from us. You all remember products such as synergistin, gentomycin and baytril which have either been discontinued or prescribing them is highly frowned on for a number of reasons I won’t get into […] Read more


The facts about the dangers of antibiotic resistance

Beef 911: The cattle industry is doing a good job to prevent resistance and 
we are improving those efforts


There has been volumes written on antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance in the last several years. This article will highlight some of the key points on how well the cattle industry is doing so far and predict what changes veterinarians may make in their recommendations going forward. For those of you who crave more detailed information, there are […] Read more



You can still get good protection by vaccinating very young calves

Beef 911: The label may say it’s not approved for young calves, 
but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work


There has been a lot of trial work over the years regarding vaccinations of our calves and when would be the most ideal time. Immunologists would debate this but as situations on farms changed and herds got larger, trends changed. Producers no longer boostered vaccines at four to six weeks apart as was often recommended. […] Read more


Calving problems are becoming rare, but be prepared to act

Beef 911: The first key step is to note when the birth process starts and investigate if too much time passes

Numerous articles have been written over the years on how and when to intervene at calving, how to recognize malpresentations, and what to do about them. Producers now see fewer and fewer calving-related problems as our breeding has improved and we select for easy-calving heifers with larger pelvises and moderate birth weight bulls. Ensuring cattle […] Read more



Here’s how to assess the risk when bringing in calves

Beef 911: Mingling animals, transport times, light weights, and even 
weather can be factors that increase the risk of BRD

There are many factors to consider when bringing in calves to feed in order to minimize BRD (bovine respiratory disease), which is still the No. 1 cause of morbidity and often mortality in our feedlots. Knowing the history of the calves regarding weaning time, distance transported, vaccination, and health history — as well as upcoming […] Read more


We need to do better when it comes to castration

Beef 911: Doing it early and properly brings benefits to the producers, 
addresses animal welfare concerns, and prevents problems later on

We now have many tools at our disposal when it comes to castration of calves in the beef and dairy sectors of our industry. When used together in skilled hands, newer techniques at castration along with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) will ensure welfare issues are addressed. Much has changed in the feedlot industry. Cattle are not […] Read more



Purebred hereford cattle

Body condition scoring pays dividends

Beef 911: Having a good handle on body condition allows you to fatten 
thin cows and feed less to fat ones to boost performance

Body condition scoring really means assessing the condition and fat cover on your cow to enable you to feed them for optimal growth and reproductive performance. It may mean separating the fat and thin groups from the main herd, which allows you to feed them separately to save feed on the fat ones and build […] Read more


The revised Beef Code of Practice a win for everyone

Beef 911: Everyone involved in the cattle industry should keep a copy handy and consult it frequently

There has been a lot written about the revised Beef Code of Practice, which was released in 2013 and was the first revision since 1991. It is most definitely worth a read, whether you are a beef producer, transporter, marketer, nutritionist, veterinarian, or are involved with the cattle industry in any way. At 56 pages, […] Read more



Don’t let freemartins become a management headache in your herd

Beef 911: Some will reproduce normally and are well worth keeping, but others need to be culled

With better nutrition and management and a higher incidence of twins in the Charolais, Simmental, and Holstein breeds, some larger herds can have up to a 10 per cent twinning rate. With the odds of 50 per cent of the twins being mixed sexes, it is no wonder freemartins are not an uncommon occurrence. Remember […] Read more


preparing a livestock vaccine

The criteria for selecting the right antibiotic

Beef 911: There are a lot of factors at play and all of them need to be 
considered in every case where antibiotics are an option

Although a few very effective antibiotics have been removed from the marketplace over the years, the choice has never been greater. The challenge is there are so many factors hinging on the outcome, so deciding which antibiotic to use — or if one is necessary at all — can be a very difficult decision. Also […] Read more