GFM Network News


Colin Rice visited several operations before selecting mats for his feedlot near Lacombe.

Cattle mats help prevent slips and injuries when processing

Mats are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to improve traction and reduce slips, says Lacombe feedlot operator

Slips, trips, and falls in cattle can be common occurrences when putting animals through handling systems. For Lacombe-area farmer Colin Rice, preventing these occurrences when they built their feedlot was on their to-do list. Rice, who operates Rice Farms Ltd. with his cousin, decided to start a feedlot when they took over the farm three […] Read more

The website www.creatingconnections.info has a host of how-to videos on low-stress handling.

Building a little trust with bovines can produce big dividends

Low-stress handling isn’t new but it’s gaining new attention thanks to a (gentle) push from a major animal health company

Does the thought of working cattle bring to mind shouting, pushing unwilling cattle in directions they don’t want to go, and excessive prodding? It doesn’t have to be that way. The late Bud Williams started training producers and feedlot workers in low-stress handling methods three decades ago and today that work is carried on by […] Read more


Five tips for easier cattle processing

As part of his appearance at the Western Canada Feedlot Management School, Curt Pate gave a processing demonstration at Ceylon Gap Feeders in Ceylon, Sask. Here are some of his tips for effectively creating flow through a processing system.

Preparation and being mindful of the basics can make all the 
difference when running cattle through your handling system, 
says Peggy Johnson. 

A little basic planning can go a long way

All sorts of issues can crop up when handling cattle, but preparation makes the day go a lot smoother

When it comes to working cattle there’s more to just ‘running them through the chute.’ Being prepared for the day can also make things go smoother for both the operators and the cattle. Focusing on “just the basic repairs and maintenance” can make all the difference, said Peggy Johnson, a former rancher and 2W Livestock[...]
Read more


Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz showed how to move cattle without the use of force or props during a session at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference.

Keep calm — and stay on the left — when working cattle

Nebraska veterinarian says the top priority is to demonstrate that people — a.k.a. ‘coyotes’ — are not really a threat


Stay on the left side of cattle and treat them right. That was demonstrated by Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz during a live animal-handling session at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. “People create the interaction and the guidance,” said the Nebraska veterinarian and consultant who often works with feedlots on animal handling and facility design. What’s important[...]
Read more

You may have the hat and the horse and the big old belt buckle — but that doesn’t mean you need to handle cattle the cowboy way, say Tina Williams and Richard McConnell.

Proper stockmanship, the Bud Williams’ way

If you want to build trust in your cattle, apply the right kind of pressure 
on them and learn to take two steps back

Cow whisperer’ Bud Williams used to have a saying when he was working cattle: “Slow is fast and less is more.” Now, four years after his death, Bud’s daughter and son-in-law are carrying on that tradition by teaching proper stockmanship — the Bud Williams’ way. “Cattlemen have been led to believe that the only way[...]
Read more


Stockmanship schools on offer

Classes run June 13-14 in Red Deer and June 16-17 in Cochrane

Richard McConnell and Tina William are presenting a two-day Proper Stockmanship School in Red Deer (June 13-14 at the Red Deer County Office) and Cochrane (June 16-17 at the Weedon Pioneer Community Hall). Topics include pressure and release; instincts of humans and livestock; the predator/prey relationship; positioning and movement; and sorting, weaning, receiving, and loading livestock.[...]
Read more

Airdrie vet Cody Creelman, who is semen testing bulls in this photo, recommends talking to your veterinarian before upgrading or replacing handling equipment.

Don’t rush when upgrading or replacing a handling system

You’ll be living with any changes for a long time, so it pays to do your research and seek expert advice

You’re going to invest in a new cattle-handling system, but there are so many options, you’re feeling confused. Here are some things to consider: Crowding tubs or Bud Box? A crowding tub is designed to move cattle from a wide group alley into a narrow single-file alley. Like the Bud Box, they rely on the[...]
Read more


“Cow whisperer” Curt Pate demonstrated low-stress cattle-handling techniques at a recent workshop in Okotoks.

‘Cow whisperer’ demonstrates low-stress cattle handling at Alberta workshop

Understanding how your movements affect your cows makes it easier 
to manage them, whether in the pasture or in the pen

Watching Curt Pate work cattle is like watching a child tugging at a kite string on a windy day. At first, it seems he can’t possibly control the wild movement of this unpredictable thing he’s trying to direct. But soon enough, he has everything well in hand. When he approaches the small herd from the[...]
Read more