Beef Day @ Guelph: Calving School Edition

Research Roundup Winter 2023

Beef Day @ Guelph Dr Claire presenting on colostrum management

On Saturday, December 2nd, the University of Guelph along with BFO and OMAFRA hosted producers for a research update as well as some calving tips and tricks. We are thankful to the nearly 100 people who joined us and hope that everyone learned something new! 

The day started off with an interactive presentation from Dr. Claire Windeyer from the University of Calgary on colostrum management. She discussed the importance of the calf receiving colostrum to ensure the transfer of passive immunity as calves are born without protective antibodies. Her recommendations are for calves to get 2L of colostrum within 2 hours of birth and another 2L by 12 hours. Her presentation pointed out ways to identify calves that would be at risk for not receiving enough colostrum and how to assist them to ensure the best chances for the transfer of passive immunity.  

The next presentation was given by veterinarian Lucio Campora on the principles of calving. He shared the common causes of difficult calving and when it is appropriate to intervene. Campora also demonstrated how to pull calves when necessary using a variety of tools such as a calf jack, head snare, and chains.  

A delicious lunch was then provided by Beef@Guelph’s funder, Food From Thought! 

Sloane Murray, a current veterinary medicine student at the OVC, then gave us a demonstration on meat tenderness. She discussed how the steaks need to be cooked for this process then showed how to use the coring device and the sheer force device to measure tenderness.  

Lastly, Dr. Katie Wood and M.Sc. candidate Sarah Dean presented on developmental programming in beef cattle. Wood shared her past research findings on supplementation of protein in late gestation finding that the progeny performed better than the progeny of not supplemented dams. Dean then discussed her ongoing research on the impact of late gestation vitamin A supplementation on intramuscular fat development of the offspring. Her work found that the supplementation did improve the offsprings intramuscular fat deposition without increasing subcutaneous fat. This supplementation also made the dams more efficient. Wood finished off by highlighting the possible economic benefits to producers of fetal programming. 

A huge thank you once again to Food From Thought, BFO, OMAFRA, the University of Guelph, and all our presenters for organizing the second Beef Day @ Guelph!


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