GFM Network News


Most producers in Western Canada are vaccinating their herds, but those who don’t are leaving their cattle vulnerable to common diseases.

Calculating the bottom line on not vaccinating cows

Not vaccinating herds comes with a cost — these two calculators put a number on potential losses

(This article has been edited for length. The full version can be found in the BCRC Blog section at beefresearch.ca.) Vaccination is a proven tool for disease prevention, but in Western Canada, one in 10 producers surveyed are not vaccinating their cows for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVD). As well, […] 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

Nasal spray vaccine more effective against BRD than injection

Vaccines for bovine respiratory disease are more effective when administered via nasal spray than injection, according to a University of Saskatchewan study. Dr. Philip Griebel’s study found vaccines administered at branding (age three to six weeks) and at weaning (age six to seven months) were more effective when given via nasal spray. “Intranasal vaccination at […] Read more


High-tech feed monitoring can forecast BRD

Bovine fitness trackers aren’t the only attempt to use technology to spot early signs of illness in feedlot cattle. Most efforts are focused on detecting bovine respiratory disease (BRD), the most common (and costly) illness affecting beef cattle and they’re borrowing a page from your mom’s handbook by asking, ‘Why are you poking at your […] Read more

A calf with bovine respiratory disease.

Watch for newer respiratory pathogens

Beef 911: Corona virus and B. trehalosi bacteria aren’t always easy to spot

We have all heard of corona virus being one of the main causes of viral scours in our newborn calves. It and a couple of strains of rotavirus are the two main viruses we see in our scours vaccines. (It also causes a winter dysentery bloody diarrhea in mature cattle, especially housed dairy cattle in […] Read more


Everyone will benefit if calves are preconditioned, says vet

Preparing calves for the feedlot reduces antibiotic use 
and improves feed efficiency and animal health

While preconditioning your calves may not always put extra dollars in your pockets, it’s good for the health of the entire beef industry. That was the message from veterinarian Cody Creelman during a recent Beef Cattle Research Centre webinar. Preconditioning includes anything a producer does to a weaned calf that reduces shrink and chance of […] Read more

Widespread antibiotic use reduced disease levels in herds but also sent resistance levels soaring.

Antimicrobial resistance in cattle means big changes coming

Resistance crisis even has drug companies calling for producers to change their ways

Multi-drug resistance to disease-causing bacteria is quickly becoming a complete “game changer” that could cripple the cattle industry’s ability to manage common bovine diseases. “We are really slamming into the end of the antibiotic era,” said Dr. Trisha Dowling, a professor of veterinary pharmacology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “I’ve got 24 different […] Read more