GFM Network News


Make sure your calves get off to a proper start

Beef 911: Calves need adequate amounts of high-quality colostrum after birth and substitutes are a good option

There have been many articles written over the years on the value of calves receiving adequate amounts of good-quality colostrum. Also over the years, colostrum substitutes have come into greater and greater usage. Several things have led to this change. Colostrum substitutes have become higher quality and are more convenient than using frozen colostrum. As […] Read more

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


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

Make sure calves get the colostrum they need

University of Calgary animal health professor offers her tips on how to assess a situation and when to intervene

Many beef calves are not getting enough colostrum at birth, and the fallout can be drastic and last a lifetime. That’s why it’s important that calves consume some colostrum within the first four hours of life, said Claire Windeyer, assistant professor of production animal health at the University of Calgary. The probability that a calf […] Read more


Scours can cause a ‘wreck’ in a herd if not dealt with properly, says animal health expert Claire Windeyer.

Managing scours so they don’t manage you

Scours, the most common disease in calves, can quickly 
put you behind the financial 8-ball

Scours can put you in a financial hole in a hurry. “For every percentage of the herd that you lose, the rest of the herd has to pick up the slack,” said Claire Windeyer, assistant professor in production animal health at the University of Calgary. Producers who had relatively low calf mortality, around five per […] Read more

A new and simple on-farm test can help producers ensure their calves get off to a healthy start.

Suckle strength linked to calf vigour at birth

This simple assessment is an even better indicator than calving ease, says University of Calgary researcher

A researcher at the University of Calgary has found a simple way to test for calf vigour — look for calves that suck. “Suckle reflex is a really promising indicator of a calf’s ability to consume colostrum,” said Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky, who presented at the 2015 UCVM Beef Cattle Conference. Colostrum consumption is one of […] Read more


Calf management survey links long calving season and calf mortality

A recent calf management study has shown links between increased calf mortality risk and the length of the calving season, timing of calving, and colostrum intake

Beef cattle producers with long calving seasons could see an increased risk of calf mortality, according to a recent study from the University of Calgary. “We looked at the correlation between the length of the calving season and mortality, and for every extra day, the mortality between a week of age and weaning went up […] Read more