GFM Network News


Lameness in cows can have many causes

Beef 911: In some cases, knowing the cause and adjusting 
your management can prevent this common problem

This article will outline some of the more common arthritic conditions and touch on some preventive measures. A lot of these conditions of course are brought on by age. In order to get more longevity out of our cows, we need to look at lameness as it is one of the common reasons for culling. […] Read more

Finding a cause for lameness in sheep

Little research on sheep lameness has been done in Canada, but the incidence can be high

Not a lot of work had been done to figure out why sheep go lame, but some Alberta researchers are working to change this. “We would like to develop a strategy to diagnose lame sheep which can later be used to inform best management practices to treat these animals,” said Wiolene Montanari Nordi, at the […] Read more


Don’t jump to conclusions when cattle come up lame

Bee 911: Just assuming it is foot rot can be a mistake as there are 
many different conditions — and types of treatment

There are many different causes of lameness in both the cow-calf and finishing sector of the cattle industry. Making the correct diagnosis or recognizing specific clinical entities will alter specific treatments that are given. This article will review most common lameness issues and what common solutions are available. This may help you get more favourable […] Read more

New beef research fact sheets available

Fact sheets on two research projects funded by Alberta Beef Producers are now available at www.albertabeef.org. Impact of Trace Minerals and Infectious Disease on Reproductive Performance examines the effect of trace mineral deficiencies (which reduce growth, milk production, and reproductive rate, and also cause a variety of metabolic diseases) in high-risk geographical regions. Investigating Lameness […] Read more


Injuries to coronary band need extra TLC

Horse Health: Coronary band injuries commonly occur when trailering horses

Through their lifetime horses can accumulate a number of injuries — cuts, scrapes, scratches and bruises. Most locations on the horse’s body are fairly forgiving of such injuries, however there are a few sites on the body where added vigilance is necessary to ensure a favourable outcome. An injury to an eye or a joint […] Read more

Vet students at the University of Calgary assess a horse for lameness.

Demystifying equine lameness

Horse Health: Overtraining young horses can set the stage for lameness issues later in life

Lameness has become somewhat of a catch-all term for a broad spectrum of abnormalities in a horse’s movement caused by pain or reduced motion. Though often thought of as a problem of the feet or legs, the roots of many lamenesses are now being discovered to originate elsewhere. These discoveries are important since horse owners […] Read more


The time has come to rethink single-trait selection

Temple Grandin was right about animal welfare, and she’s right 
about respecting the dual purpose of food animals, too

I am a big fan of Dr. Temple Grandin. A long time ago we stood in a small community hall in Alberta with 60 farmers in attendance. She talked about an animal’s reaction to light, movement, and sound, and encouraged producers to see their facilities through the eyes of their livestock. I talked about shrinkage […] Read more

Ergot looks like blackened wheat seeds, and can easily contaminate feeds, causing lactation issues, lameness, and weight loss.

Test that feed — expert says ergot contamination on the rise

Last year’s wet spring has left a potential deadly legacy and ‘it doesn’t take much’ ergot to cause serious problems


Ergot-contaminated feed is on the rise and producers need to be testing to avoid poisoning their livestock. “Last year at this time, we were running 20 to 40 samples a month for ergot — we’ve had days this year where we run 40 samples, and lots of them are high concentration,” said Barry Blakley, a […] Read more


Study examines lameness in feedlot cattle and treatment options

Diagnosing the cause of lameness is not easy and so it’s difficult 
to know how to treat the animal or if culling is the best option

Although feedlot pen riders do a good job of identifying lame cattle needing treatment, there has been very little work done to fully understand lameness in that sector. Knowing the types and prevalence of lameness could help to build better ways to treat and prevent it, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein. “We […] Read more