GFM Network News


Tense and flighty cattle may be more prone to disease, says Diego Moya Fernandez, an assistant professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Being tense and temperamental may not be good for a cow’s health

The way cattle exit the chute could be an indicator of their chances of falling prey to a disease

Reading Time: 3 minutes Can your herd health improve if you know how to spot and cull the temperamental cattle? That’s what Diego Moya Fernandez is hoping to find out. “We are not trying to look for happy or sad cows,” said the assistant professor and researcher at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “When I talk about temperament, […] Read more

Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Cattle can get stuck or go down when being processed

Watch for balking and think prevention when it comes to alleyways and chutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes Large cows or bulls can get stuck or go down in a chute or an alleyway system, and that can cause losses or welfare issues. I have trained myself to really watch when cattle balk at certain points of a handling system as there is often a very good reason for this, and one that […] Read more



It’s not just the cattle that are happier with the new handling system at Short Grass Ranches, their handlers are too. “Nobody is miserable and grumpy at the end of the day,” says Craig Lehr.

Before you can go with the flow, you need to get the flow going

A new handling system has proven to be like night and day on Short Grass Ranches

Reading Time: 4 minutes Low stress and good flow are what all producers want when putting cattle through a handling system. Oftentimes though, cattle balk at something or just don’t flow as smoothly as they should. That’s the situation Craig Lehr found himself in, even though he had a “very well-built” one-piece, S-alley livestock-handling system with a crowding tub […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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[...]
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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


Reading Time: 3 minutes 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[...]
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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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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[...]
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