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Nutrition

Nutrition is the foundation of cattle health and performance. Finding the right feed type for your operation, the right balance between feed cost and performance, and even a good alternative feed type that works for you, however, is rarely easy. Here is some information that may help you.

Topics:
Winter Feeding
Backgrounding
Feed and Performance
Beef Rations

Winter Feeding

Cold Weather Feeding Adjustments for Cows
Alberta Agriculture and Food
Answers to frequently asked questions about winter feeding, such as "Does the breed of cattle have an effect on energy requirements?" and "How does cold weather affect a lactating cow's energy requirements?"

Importance of Increasing Milk Replacer for Wintering Calves
Dr. Jim Quigley, calfnotes.com
This factsheet describes the amount of additional energy calves need in the winter. Download an Excel spreadsheet that will allow you to calculate the amount of calf milk replacer to be added to meet this need.

Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines
Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food, and Rural Revitalization
Winter feeding and ration guidelines to help prevent the over- and underfeeding of beef cattle, both of which can prove costly for the producer. (PDF)

Feeding Frost-Damaged and Sprouted Grain to Livestock
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
According to this report, "there appears to be little, if any, reduction in feeding value with sprouted or frost-damaged grain when fed by weight."

Backgrounding

Backgrounding - Cattle Feeder Nutrition
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Backgrounding allows the producer, in the words of this factsheet, to "provide optimal growth and development of the muscle and frame of the calf, while avoiding excess fat deposition." (602 KB PDF)

Feed and Performance

Feeding to Boost Reproductive Performance of Cows and Heifers
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
Save on feed costs and maximize reproductive performance simply by providing your breeding herd with nutritious feed. It's important, this article states, to correlate optimum body condition scores with the four main feeding stages in a cow's yearly production cycle.

Effect of Feeding on Reproductive Capacity of Young Bulls
Alberta Agriculture and Food
An eight-year study conducted by the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Lethbridge examined the effects of a high versus medium-energy diet on the sperm production of young bulls.

Beef Rations

Beef Ration Rules of Thumb
Alberta Agriculture and Food
Determine both the quality and quantity of feed required, both for individual cows per day and for the herd for winter.

Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines
Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food, and Rural Revitalization
Winter feeding and ration guidelines to help prevent the over- and underfeeding of beef cattle, both of which can prove costly for the producer. (PDF)

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